CASH-STRAPPED communities are being asked by the Government today to share the cost of fixing their potholes and even to carry out the work themselves.
Already reeling under a raft of new charges, locals will have to put their hand in their pocket or get out their shovels if they want their roads repaired under a radical new scheme.
Under the plan unveiled today a total of €10.6m is being provided by the Government for road repairs at 377 locations.
But the catch is that the respective communities must come up with another €4m in cash, manpower or tools.
They can either come up with the money, provide the labour or supply the machinery.
The scheme is expected to apply to local roads, including country lanes and boreens.
The unusual scheme was launched today by Transport Minister of State Alan Kelly.
The ‘Community Involvement Scheme’ (CIS) announced today is aimed at fixing 240 kms of roads.
Mr Kelly said today the funding would be available over the next two years.
“ This represents a new and innovative reform of our road maintenance system and work with a total value of over €14 million can now be carried out at a cost to the taxpayer of €10.6 million with the balance being contributed by the local community.”
“Local authorities have asked communities to come up with a portion of the cost of road maintenance either through funding, labour provision, machinery supply or other forms of benefit.”
“This funding is then being added to my department’s spend to prioritise maintenance in rural isolated areas and will allow communities have a direct input along with their local authority into local road maintenance,”
Mr Kelly said that in the normal course of a county council’s road works programme, repairs to minor county roads would only be considered towards the end of the programme after more heavily trafficked routes had been dealt with.
“ The purpose of this pilot community involvement scheme is to permit local participation in the repair of roads,” he added.
“In this way, if there are particular problems affecting a given stretch of road and if the local community are willing to assist the local authority in money or kind with the necessary works, then such roads can be improved sooner than would otherwise be the case.”
“This pilot Community Involvement in Road Works Scheme is purely a voluntary scheme and is available to give local communities the opportunity to have these works completed where they would not normally be considered for funding.”
The list of schemes involved on a county by county basis and the community contribution is available here