Road budget cuts could be up to €2.3m
DAMAGE DONE TO INVESTMENT CHANCES
THE REAL cuts to Louth road services could be up to €2.3 million in 2013, the annual budget meeting heard last week.
County Manager told councillors that the roads section would be one of the worst hit next year, with €1.5 million taken from its budget.
Cllr. Declan Breathnach appealed for some funding for maintenance and upkeep of roads throughout the county.
Cllr. Tomas Sharkey said that a closer look at the figures showed that the true cuts were likely to be €2.3 million.
'At this rate of going we will have to bring potential investors into Louth by helicopter or hovercraft, as the state of the roads will lead to them nearly falling into ditches.'
He warned that the cuts to infrastructure will damage Louth's chances at attracting investment.
' These cuts are very short sighted. People in County Louth pay their motor tax and household charge, and they are entitled to roads that are maintained.'
The council heard that the winter maintenance programme will continue as in previous years covering national primary, national secondary and almost every regional route in the county.
'If the large number of call outs for winter gritting continues at its current pace this will put further pressure on the roads budget for 2013,' said Gerry Kelly, Senior Engineer.
The council were also told that substantial progress was made in 2012 on plans for the Narrow Water bridge. A funding application to the special EU programmes body was successful and planning permission was received on both sides of the border.
The meeting heard that the tendering process for the construction of the bridge has commenced with construction expected to start in June/July 2013, with a completion date in June 2015.