Councillors get update on special projects
Director of Services Eddie Taaffe and Engineer Brian Galvin arrived before the monthly meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council last week to give an update on Special Projects for the town, or as Cllr Paddy Kavanagh has dubbed them, the 'three T's' - the Technology Park, Templeshannon Regeneration Project and Tourism Project.
Members had asked the pair to present updates on the projects, anxious that things progress as quickly and efficiently as possible, and their presentation started with good news. Having received Part 8 approval at last month's meeting of Wexford County Council, tenders for the construction of Phase 1 of the Enniscorthy Technology Park were received on June 5 and are currently being assessed. Mr Galvin said that it is likely the contract to get work underway will be awarded by mid July and it is hoped that we will see a spade in the ground by early August.
The first phase of the Technology Park is expected to take six months to complete and will include the construction of an internal roadway, services, landscaping, fencing and walkways to service the initial three plots which are said to be 'the subject of current development interest'. Phase 2 will take place when sufficient interest is secured in developing the remaining plots and Mr Taaffe said that they were hopeful on this.
'There are various negotiations which are ongoing with third parties about securing buildings in the park,' he said. 'We hope that in the next few months we will know exactly who is going in there.'
On the Templeshannon project, the preliminary design of the first phase, focusing on public realm and street improvement, is to be submitted for public consultation in July. Tenders are to be advertised in late November, with a view to awarding a contract in March 2019. Following this, work on this phase is expected to be completed by September 2019. Meanwhile, the construction of a pedestrian bridge from Slaney Street to Templeshannon should see a contractor appointed in September 2019 and should take around 12 months.
Cllr Paddy Kavanagh welcomed the Templeshannon project, but he did express some concerns over the one-way system which will see vehicles have to head up Springvalley to get back up to the back of the Shannon. 'I still have concerns about the one-way system,' he said. 'If we provide access through the Waterfront car-park and back up through Railway Square and past Toss Kavanagh's, we can essentially make that whole block a big roundabout. There's a whole section of people there in the old St Senan's, Slaney View and Father Murphy Park who will be hugely discommoded.'
Mr Taaffe pointed out that these people will be able to take the same route into town as normal, it's only their return home that would be different. 'We've done one-way systems in other towns and what we've found is that people don't mind driving a little longer if they get there a bit quicker. I think that will be the case here.'
Finally, in terms of the major tourism project for Enniscorthy, the council are seeking to procure services for the conceptual development, design and selection of a landmark tourism project for the town. Tenders are due in July and a consultant is expected to be appointed in September of this year. The appointment will allow for the preparation of a stage one application for capital funding to Fáilte Ireland. This project is one which has gained some urgency of late with the impending closure of the National 1798 Centre at Arnold's Cross.
To conclude matters Chairman Keith Doyle thanked Mr Taaffe and Galvin for coming to Enniscorthy to discuss developments. 'I think there was a bit of a communication glitch,' he said. 'I think members needed to see where we were with some of these things. Maybe we could do it again in a few months time to see how things are progressing.'