independent

Friday 18 April 2014

O'Connell St plans dashed by Hogan

COUNCIL CANNOT FUND PROJECT

HOPES THAT Sligo's O'Connell Street would get a much needed facelift have been dashed after the County Council admits it can't match funding for the scheme.

In all, Sligo is to lose €4.7million in government grants because the Council is unable to part fund the enhancement works or planned water works.

Earlier this month County Manager Hubert Kearns said: "The Council will be unable to make the local contribution for the scheme and has to look for 100% funding from the Department."

However Environment Phil Hogan, pictured, said in Dáil this week: "There is no scope under the current arrangements for my Department to provide 100% funding to Sligo County Council for this scheme."

In February Minister Hogan said he had approved the proposal to carry out watermains replacement works in the town.

However, he said in March the Council wrote to his Department setting out the difficulties in funding its 10% contribution of approximately €467,000.

Cllr Declan Bree said: "The Department indicated that it was prepared to provide €500,000 for the planned enhancement and paving of O'Connell Street, and a grant of €4.2 million for the replacement of water mains in the main street and other streets in the town. "These schemes would also have provided badly needed employment. "All the funding is now being lost to Sligo and will be taken up by other Councils."

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