Ballymote-Tobercurry Minutes 2016

Minutes of Meeting of The Municipal District of Ballymote-Tobercurry held on Monday 24th March, 2016 at 11am in Meeting Room 1, Teach Laighne, Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo


COUNCILLORS PRESENT:

  • Councillor Michael Clarke
  • Councillor Margaret Gormley
  • Councillor Jerry Lundy
  • Councillor Dara Mulvey
  • Councillor Joe Queenan
  • Councillor Keith Henry
  • Councillor Paul Taylor (chair)

 

OFFICIALS IN ATTENDANCE:

  • Mr. Ciarán Hayes, Chief Executive
  • Mr. Tom Kilfeather, Director of Services
  • Mr. Tom Brennan, Senior Engineer
  • Mr. Declan Noone, Engineer
  • Mr. David Golden, Area Engineer
  • Mr. Joe Devaney, Engineer
  • Ms. Lorraine Fitzgerald, Staff Officer

 

APOLOGIES:

Cllr Martin Baker

CATHAOIRLEACH:

The Cathaoirleach, Councillor P. Taylor presided and welcomed the Members, Executive and members of the media to the Municipal District meeting.

Before the meeting began, the Cathaoirleach extended a special welcome to the new Member, Cllr Keith Henry. He also welcomed the Area Engineers, and hopes to see them at future meetings.

Cllr Clarke welcomed Cllr Henry to the Council and added that he would surely be a valued member.

Cllr Lundy also welcomed Cllr Henry to his first official meeting and wished the best of luck, adding that it is great to see somebody of his age joining the Council.

Cllr Mulvey concurred with the other Councillors in welcoming Cllr Henry and looking forward to his involvement in this huge geographical area, where it is all about working as a team.

Cllr Gormley joined in welcoming Cllr Henry, saying that while this chamber would be new to him, he is no stranger to politics having worked alongside Eamon Scanlon previously.

Cllr Henry thanked the members for their kind words and stated that he is looking forward to working with the Councillors and staff. He added that it has been a good first week and he is looking forward to the challenge and working together for the betterment of the County.

3. CONSIDER DRAFT SCHEDULE OF MUNICIPAL DISTRICT WORKS 2016 (ROAD WORKS SCHEME)

Proposed by Councillor E. Scanlon
Seconded by Councillor J. Lundy

AND AGREED

“To consider the Draft Schedule of Municipal District Works 2016 (Road Works Scheme)”

Mr. Tom Kilfeather invited Mr. Tom Brennan, Senior Engineer to go through the Programme which had been circulated to the Members in advance of the meeting.

Mr. Brennan took the Members through the draft Schedule of Ballymote-Tobercurry Municipal District Works for 2016 for Roads, Transportation & Infrastructure. The Schedule specified the full allocation of monies by March 2016, the amounts from the various bodies involved together with a detailed breakdown of all planned expenditure for the year in relation to the specific projects and categorised headings. Mr. Brennan went through each individual category that related to the Ballymote-Tobercurry Municipal District.

There were a number of points raised by the members in relation to various specific roads and schemes as follows:

Cllr Gormley commented that there appears to be a huge reduction in the Discretionary Grant which compared with last year with nearly €200,000 less and Mr. Brennan informed her that the reason for that is a reduction in transfer of monies from RI to DG to 20% as opposed to 25% last year. Cllr Gormley queried whether an additional €50,000 had not been added into the budget for local road maintenance as it had last year. Cllrs Taylor and Queenan also agreed that this should be the same as last year and Mr. Tom Kilfeather, Director of Services confirmed Cllr. Gormley had identified an error in the Programme for the Sligo Municipal District where a provision of €60,000 towards local roads in urban area had been omitted.

Cllr Gormley asked how many schemes have been submitted for further funding and Mr. Brennan informed the meeting that there has been an application made in the sum of €3.5 million for 25 schemes countywide. The Department have given out a large portion of its allocation but it is hoped we may get more funding later in the year.

Cllr Taylor expressed his thanks to Tom and the team saying that obviously we would like to see more funding but would like to thank the Engineers, Overseers and staff for the hard work they have done with limited resources and he recognised that there is a difficult year ahead to reach all of the targets.

Cllr Clarke also wished to be associated with the Cathaoirleach’s words and stated that this consultation process is welcomed. He noted that there are a significant number of roads that will not be included this time and a lot of people will be disappointed. He specifically mentioned:

  • Junctions at Skreen, Dromard, on the N59
  • The graveyard at Dromard needs to be looked at, where it appears that the ground has been filled in with rubble.
  • A second sign at Beltra for Dunmoran be replaced with a sign for the Coast Road.
  • Beltra PO road to be resurfaced

Cllr Queenan also thanked the staff and noted that while this will not solve all problems, it will be a big help. He raised queries in relation to:

  • Flooding at Farnaharpy,
  • Would be beach wardens on duty this year,
  • If there was any indication in relation to the Blue Flag at Enniscrone this year
  • Whether the LIS are being brought back.

 

Cllr Gormley thanked Tom Kilfeather, Tom Brennan and the Area Engineers and although she welcomed the programme, there are a lot of areas not included. Cllr Gormley also commented on the fact that Irish Water are supposed to be installing watermains in certain roads which means that other work has to be postponed. She requested that at the very least these roads should be kept in good repair so that people can travel on them. Cllr Gormley had a number of areas identified in particular as needing works:

  • R296 and R294 junction to be upgraded
  • The 5 Cross roads to Temple House road
  • Road at Emlynaughton
  • Dumping at Cloonacallagh lake to be investigated
  • Signs at R296/294 junction causing sightline problems
  • Sign for Coleman Heritage Centre to be replaced
  • Wall at Kiltullagh burial ground
  • Cloonameehan burial ground boundary wall
  • Extension of Monasteraden, Mount Irwin, Mullinabreena and Court Abbey burial grounds

Cllr Lundy began by thanking the staff for putting the programme of works together and emphasising that it is vitally important we get more permanent staff. Cllr Lundy informed the meeting that there is a big event coming up in Banada and he did not see any works outlined for the Banada area. In relation to drainage and cleaning, he queried how the rivers are selected.

 

Cllr Mulvey concurred with the other Councillors in thanking the staff for the report and the extensive amount of work that has gone into it and also welcomed the Area Engineers to the meeting. While noting the extra funding received and the progress on the N4 works, he also queried funding for Burial Grounds. Specific areas of concern for Cllr Mulvey included:

  • The old Killoran burial ground - it is currently inaccessible and has fallen into disrepair since the Fas Schemes finished. This burial ground is being used and Cllr Mulvey has spoken with the Heritage Officer. He also stated that Sligo Leader are willing to assist the County Council in works.
  • In relation to public conveniences, he queried if there will be public toilets at Dunmoran and Easkey.
  • The Templehouse road junction is an extremely busy junction and there have been some accidents, is there any funding available to put something in place there.
  • Would be possible to put a second white line on the R293 out of Ballymote as residents have difficulty coming out of their houses due to the speed of the cars.
  • The Coolaney/Collooney road is very busy now and there was a bit of work carried out on it but the hedge at Joe Corcoran’s is impairing vision and some people have lost wing mirrors.
  • Regarding Smarter Travel, are rural communities not eligible to apply for funding

Cllr Mulvey thanked the staff for the work done on the Geevagh landslide, stating that it was a difficult job to solve and he wanted to give credit where credit is due. 

Cllr Henry also wished to be associated with the comments and previous compliments to staff and engineers and welcomed the news of the 12 additional members of staff saying it is a move in the right direction and hopefully that continues beyond the 7 months. He added that it is great to see funding coming for the national primary roads but there are a lot of people who will not set foot on any of the main roads and while people are pragmatic enough to know they are not going to get a motor way, when would want some works being done. In particular he mentioned:

  • Camross road needs some resurfacing
  • The R293 around Gillooley’s house - there is a low dip and cars are being damaged.
  • In relation to Smarter Travel Schemes, Cllr Henry stated that there are plenty of opportunities for cycle lanes to be
  • developed.

Cllr Taylor thanked the staff for their work and stated that he is looking forward to seeing the works in place during the year ahead, but as potholes are a huge problem at the moment and we have only 1 patcher in operation, he queried if there is a plan going forward. He added that we understand that the weather has been very poor but every day more people are contacting the Members. Cllr Taylor also had particular issues with:

  • Burial Ground at extension at Monasteraden and Mount Irwin
  • Signage for the Keash Caves, Equestrian Centre and the Carrowkeel Tombs – people are having to stop and ask for directions.

Cllr Gormley further queried when works will commence on the Keash Road by the church, Battlefield and out at Kilcoyne’s. 

Tom Brennan, Senior Engineer thanked all for the comments stating the credit is due to the staff. Mr. Kilfeather, Mr.Brennan and the Area Engineers went through the various queries and answered as follows:

  • The N59 junction is an issue that we keep coming back to with Transport Infrastructure Ireland and in the short-term we will endeavour to keep the sightlines clear
  • In relation to potential flooding at Farnaharpy, we will be raising the road about 5” so there will no issue but if there is, we will put drainage in place
  • Cliff Road – we are doing strengthening on the road
  • Cleaning rivers - we look after certain systems and not others. Approximately 25% of rivers are taken care of by Local Authorities which we inherited about 150 years ago. 25% are taken care of by the OPW and no Authority is responsible for the other 50%. Cllr Lundy queried whether it would be possible to put pressure on the OPW for specific systems and Mr. Brennan stated that we can certainly make representations to them.
  • The LIS programme has not been reintroduced
  • In relation to the Bunninadden / Ballymote road, the road to the lake will be inspected and we will carry out
  • repairs where possible.
  • The road at Emlaghnaughten is part of the second claim for flood damage
  • Regarding signage, the sign for the Coleman Centre will be reinstated and Keash Caves and Carrowkeel Tombs will be well signed when the programme is completed. Cllr Mulvey asked if Ballymote Castle signage could also be looked at.
  • Re fencing at Bells Cross, Mr. Brennan will check and revert
  • David Golden to see what needs to be done at Banada
  • Cashel Gates works are likely to be funded by TII and we plan to build the road up across the railway line. Cllr Lundy queried whether the works we are doing would interfere with reopening of the railway line and Mr. Brennan assured them that whatever works we will be doing would be of a very minor nature should the line reopen
  • Re public conveniences, it is hoped they will be in place at Dunmoran and Easkey. Joe Devaney is to confirm.
  • Re Templehouse Road junction to Kilvarnet, and the trees growing out over Templehouse wall, we will see if anything can be done there
  • Re the white line and edging for cyclists on the R293, Declan Noone will have a look at it. Declan Noone will also have a look at the bollards at Dooneybeg
  • The Coolaney/Collooney road at Corcorans will be looked at 
  • Re Smarter Travel, the current programme mainly to do with large towns and hopefully the next programme will include rural areas and tourist amenities
  • Re Enniscrone’s Blue Flag, we are awaiting results of the extensive testing process but because of the strict criteria which relates to results over a number of years, Enniscrone is unlikely to qualify for a Blue Flag.
  • In relation to extension of burial grounds, most Local Authorities do not get involved at all and it is left to the communities. If works are to be done, Leader and local communities have to be involved and Leader may not have people in all of the areas. The Heritage Office can act as a link with the Department in these queries. In relation to maintenance of the burial grounds, we might have some monies but we have to see which are the most critical. Cllr Gormley again mentioned Kiltullagh as being in a very bad state.
  • Long term plan in relation to pothole repairs is that we require another velocity patcher. We also need funding for a number of vehicles and machines. There was a discussion in relation to whether it would be possible to rent a velocity patcher from another County Council or plant hire company but Mr. Brennan informed the meeting that we have already enquired regarding this. 

There was a discussion in relation to the 12 temporary staff that are to be taken on and whether they would be taken on in the local areas where they live so that they know the layout of the area. Cllr Gormley queried when the engineering areas are going to change and asked if staff could be divided into a crew available to prepare the roads for surface dressing and a crew for pothole repair.

Tom Kilfeather told the meeting that we have two engineering areas in the County that are, most affected by staff reductions, those being Ballymote and Tubbercurry so they are going to have to be prioritised. The second thing looked at is where the staff live. We need to comply with the Financial Plan and this is the first break regarding hire of staff that we have had from the Department for a long time. We need to deliver this programme to be best of our ability from April to the middle of November and then see where we can go from there. 

The Cathaoirleach wished everybody a happy Easter and that we would all look forward to the Schedule of work.

The business of the meeting ended at 1.30pm.

Download  Minutes of Municipal District Ballymote-Tobercurry 24th March 2016 (PDF) - 96 kbs

 


Meeting Date 24/03/2016