Fianna Fail election candidate, Michael Loftus, has called a meeting with Minister Michael Finneran, and is urging him to address the “essential” Kilmurray Water Scheme.
The Ballina area candidate was present at a public meeting last week after water scheme members were informed that Mayo County Council no longer has funding available to carry out the scheme. With a total of 80 houses affected – all of which have paid the agreed local contribution towards the scheme – Mr Loftus is calling on Minister Finneran to make a commitment to the project and give a date for its delivery within this year or, at the very latest, 2010.
“This is vital for the people in this area. Under EU regulations, water is an entitlement and this community is just as important as anywhere else in Europe. The people have made a substantial local contribution, worth 15 per cent of the project, in line with the agreement with the county authority. Now, like the entire community, I am disappointed to learn that Mayo County Council is no longer in a position to fund its 85 per cent share which is in the region of €500,000,” he said.
In a bid to get the project moving, Mr Loftus has requested a meeting with the Environment Minister to address the funding and put pressure on him to “name a date” on the commencement of work.
“The people have waited 30 years for this and are so close now with the design stage completed and local funding in place. I want to ensure it is delivered. We all understand that cutbacks have to be made in this economic climate but this scheme should not be left any longer,” he said.
Mr Loftus also hopes to communicate the issue to Minister Eamon Ó Cuív in the near future. “This is a fundamental necessity for Kilmurray and it must be addressed as soon as possible with the Department of the Environment as well as at a local level,” Mr Loftus concluded.