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BREE HIGHLIGHTS EXORBITANT ROAD COSTS IN SLIGO

Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 05:24PM by Registered CommenterDeclan Bree | Comments Off

SLIGO COUNTY Council pays the highest resurfacing costs in the country for the resurfacing of roads under the Roads Restoration Maintenance Programme, Cllr Declan Bree told this month meeting of Sligo County Council.

“Last year Sligo County Council paid an average of €10.87 per square metre for the resurfacing of Regional Roads while Clare County Council paid an average of €3.78 per square metre, Louth paid an average of €4.38 per square metre and Leitrim paid an average of €4.76 per square metre.

“And last year Sligo County Council paid an average of €11.53 per square metre for the resurfacing of Local Roads while Cavan County Council paid an average of €2.72 per square metre, Mayo paid an average of €3.72 per square metre and Roscommon paid an average of €4.56 per square metres.” Cllr Bree told the meeting.

“Information held by the Department of Transport will confirm that other counties can resurface three to four miles of road for the sum it costs Sligo County Council to resurface one mile.

“The County Manager told us at our last meeting that the work carried out by Sligo County Council was of a much higher standard than in other counties and that it represented good value for money.

“However, as far as I am concerned that is nonsense and unacceptable.  We are not taking about rocket science here. We know that that the Department of Transport and the NRA set down the same standards for all local authorities. These standards were put in place by the Department specifically to ensure that public monies were not squandered.

“And it’s clear that the Minister and the Department doesn’t accept the County Manager’s view that we are getting good value for money.

“Because Sligo and a small number of other councils couldn’t justify the exorbitant costs they were paying for resurfacing, the Minister was obliged to intervene this year, and the Department set maximum costs of €4.50 and €5.50 per square metre for surface dressing for local and regional roads respectively.

“The Department has also made it clear in its Circular that where these rates are exceeded without sufficient explanation a Council’s grant will be reduced by an amount equal to the excess cost. This has major implications for Sligo given the fact that the County Manager believes it is acceptable and good value to pay €11.83 per square metre for resurfacing.

“Recognising that Sligo can ill afford to lose out on grant aid from the Department for the resurfacing of our roads I am now proposing that this Council calls on the County Manager to comply with the requirements as set out in the Department Circular.” said Cllr Bree.

Cllr Bree then proposed the following motion: “Recognising that Sligo County Council pays the highest resurfacing costs in the country for the resurfacing of roads under the Roads Restoration Maintenance Programme; and noting that Sligo County Council paid an average of €10.87 per square metre in 2010 for the resurfacing of Regional Roads while Clare County Council paid an average of €3.78 per square metre; and noting that Sligo County Council paid an average of €11.53 per square metre in 2010 for the resurfacing of Local Roads while Cavan County Council paid an average of €2.72 per square metre; and noting that the Department of Transport by way of Circular letter (RLR 2/2011)has set maximum costs of €4.50 and €5.50 per square metre for surface dressing for local and regional roads respectively; and further noting with concern that the Circular states that where these rates are exceeded a Council’s grant will be reduced by an amount equal to the excess cost; this Council calls on the County Manger to comply with the requirements as set out in the Department Circular.”  The motion was seconded by Cllr Sean MacManus.   

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail councillors attempted to justify the council’s exorbitant road costs and voted down Cllr Bree's motion.  

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