Catch up with what was discussed at the latest Ballina Municipal District meeting
Seven tenders in for Ballina Military Barracks project
The transformation of the former military barracks in Ballina into the Ballina Innovation Quarter, has moved a step closer, with seven tenders for the project received by Mayo County Council. The elected members of the Ballina Municipal District were told by director of services, housing and architectural services, for Mayo County Council, Simon Shevlin, that the tenders were now being evaluated and the hope was that the project would be finished by the end of 2022.
Dedicated funding for footpath repair needed
The need for dedicated funding for footpath repairs was raised at the February meeting of the Ballina Municipal District this week. Fine Gael Cllr Jarlath Munnelly had a notice of motion down at the meeting which read: "Requesting that Mayo County Council carry out upgrade and repair works to the pathway along Quay Road, Killala, paying particular attention to the holes in the path, and water lodging." Cllr Munnelly told the meeting that a woman had recently fallen and broken her arm on the pathway and said: "This is not like an issue we raise at a meeting and say if we don't do something, something will happen, we have already had an accident." Responding to Cllr Munnelly, Theresa Durkin, senior executive engineer for Mayo County Council, said that: "We will take it on board and we have looked at it and investigated, our problem is that we don't have a lot of staff in, the report is very typical and your comments are very typical about what is going on around the district. We will prioritise it as best we can, but it is one of many. I have been bleating on for years that we need separate funding for footpaths, especially existing ones, but it is not coming. We will look at it, we have some plans, but no estimate for works. The problem is that the sea wall leaks and a lot of the outlets don't have non-return valves on them and again there is a lot of work required from the car park all the way to the pier; you are talking about a lot of money and we will be looking at it this year."
Reape looks for footpath on old N26
Fianna Fáil Councillor, Annie May Reape, put forward a notice of motion at the February meeting of the Ballina Municipal District Council that read " Calling on Ballina Municipal Council to construct a footpath as far as the Biolabs on the old N26 road. 150 people are employed there, and a footpath would be used extensively." Speaking on the motion, she said: "All of us have got representations on it, it is a very busy route (for walking ). It is used by a lot of people walking, a few years ago we got the other section done from the N26 to the hotel; this is ferociously busy in that one section. The N26 is listed this year for repair, so if we could get a footpath done too it would be marvellous. Apparently a lot of those workers walk into town during the day and go running." Her motion was seconded by Councillor Mark Duffy, who added: "To follow on for it, continuing the canal side walkway from where it stops at the back of Childers Heights to continue on to Rehins Fort, to Hollister, we are all looking for it to be developed and on to the old Foxford road, which would service the hotel and the biolabs and then, in time, on to Mount Falcon; there is huge opportunity with walking and cycling funding to connect a lot of people. I know it is outside the speed limit zone, as far as I know they (government ) will still consider it as long as it will get people moving safely." Responding to the councillors, Theresa Durkin, senior executive engineer for Mayo County Council, told the meeting: "This has been brought up before, it is correct; we don't provide footpaths beyond the speed limit. It has been looked at in relation to see could we get funding for works on the old N26, it doesn't comply with requirements for cycling lanes or footpaths - but it has been discussed and if we could get funding, we could maybe widen the verge if we can. But it can't be a footpath, as such; it is something we are looking at, but we have no definite plans or funding. The desire is there, but you have hit on the points there, we need land acquisition, the route is very windy. We will try and get some kind of a walkway if we can from Charles River through, if we can get agreement from landowners. So it is something we are working on, but can't put a definite on it."
Draft of tender document for Rehins Fort development gone for approval
Mayo County Council has drafted the tender document for the construction of 50 new houses at Rehins Fort in Ballina and has submitted it to the government for stage three approval. Simon Shevlin, director of services, housing and architectural services, for Mayo County Council, informed the elected members of the Ballina Municipal District at their February meeting this week, that if the approval to move on comes back to the council in the next two three weeks, they would hope to have the tender out and contractors on site by April of this year.
O'Hara calls for extension of sewer to Behy NS
Fine Gael Councilolr John O'Hara put forward a notice of motion at the February meeting of the Ballina Municipal District to write to Irish Water to try and get the utility company to extend the sewer network on the Behy Road as far as Behy National School. Speaking on his motion, which was seconded by Cllr Jarlath Munnelly, O'Hara said: "On the Behy Road coming from Judges Garage the sewer goes out as far as Davey's, from there on there is no sewer and the drainage is very poor and there is ribbon development and we have a school at the very end with up on 300 children. I am asking can the municipal district put it forward to get some kind of an upgrade. Some of the septic tanks on the way out are giving trouble. I am just asking the district to contact Irish Water to get them to see could they go as far as Behy school, with the amount of children going to it and they also just have a new extension there, so it will probably get bigger.
Construction works on Robinson Centre to be completed by end of year
Mayo County Council hopes to have the construction work on part of the multi-million Mary Robinson Centre in Ballina completed by the end of the year. Simon Shevlin, director of services, housing and architectural services, for Mayo County Council, informed the elected members of the Ballina Municipal District at their February meeting this week that Covid-19 issues had caused delays, but they expected to have the construction work done by the end of the year; with other work to be carried out in conjunction with the Robinson Centre committee afterwards.
Loftus queries repairs on Shanvalahan road
Fianna Fáil Councillor Michael Loftus has queried whether any decision has been made in relation to repairing a road at Shanvalahan near Crossmolina, between Coillte and Mayo County Council. Speaking at the February meeting of the Ballina Municipal District, Cllr Loftus said: "In relation to the Shanvalahan road, has the council met with Coillte? I would like to know the outcome of that because it has been queried with me in relation to a plan and are they going to pay for the full restoration of the road; and if they are not, are the council going to pay money in relation to the repair of it?" Responding to Cllr Loftus, Vincent O'Boyle, assistant engineer, Mayo County Council, said: "As I discussed at the roads workshop, we met with Coillte and discussed the condition of the road. We are coming up with a proposal involving wet mix macadam and double surface dressing. It is a timing issue of when that will be done or whether they will go ahead and do it themselves and pay for it or whether they will give us a contribution and we will include it in our roads programme."
Call for cycling lane to Behy NS
Fine Gael Councillor John O'Hara put forward a notice of motion at the February meeting of the Ballina Municipal District calling for a cycling lane to be constructed to Behy National School in Ballina, with his motion seconded by Cllr Annie May Reape. Speaking on the motion, Cllr O'Hara said he had been talking to the principal of the school along with parents of students, on the issue. They told him that the school had been promoting cycling for the health benefits to the children and while a lot of students have taken that up, others haven't because it is felt it is unsafe and a cycle lane would be a great addition to the drive to get the students cycling.
Loftus wants new velocity patcher sent to Ballina
Fianna Fáil Councillor Michael Loftus has urged that the new velocity patcher that Mayo County Council is in the process of purchasing, be sent to the Ballina Municipal District. Speaking at the February meeting of the district, Cllr Loftus said: "In relation to the velocity patcher, we have three in the county at the moment and a fourth is in the process of being purchased. I am anxious that the fourth velocity patcher comes to the Ballina area, I want to see the new one come directly to Ballina." Responding to Cllr Loftus and other councillors who voiced their concerns over potholes in the area, director of services for Mayo County Council, Tom Gilligan, told the members: "As the members know, currently we have three velocity patchers in the county and the machinery yard in Castlebar operate them. We are under covid level five restrictions at the moment and we are only doing works on an emergency basis - if there are issues, members can get in contact, if it needs to be done. It is important to state, it (the patcher ) works better and at optimum when there is a route laid out, it doesn't make economic sense to deploy it for one pot hole, it is best to have a route for a day or a few days. We are in the process of getting a fourth one, we issued a request for tenders and got one submission back. Once the evaluation is complete and it meets the required guidelines, then we should be able to get it and have one for each of the districts, which is the situation we want to be in."