Westmeath flood blackspots to benefit from funding

Two locations in Westmeath are to benefit from funding from the Office of Public Works (OPW ) to address localised flood problems.

Projects at Brookfield, Mullingar and at Ballynagall are to receive €45,000 and €25,000 for minor flood works, under a new scheme announced this week by Dr Martin Mansergh, Minister of State with special responsibility for the OPW.

In total over €1.3 million is to be made available to local authoriites for minor works and studies to address localised flood problems.

Announcing the funding allocations, Dr Mansergh explained that OPW officials had evaluated aplications from local authorities.

“The Office of Public Works has always worked closely with local authorities in relation to flood mitigation. OPW sought detailed applications from local authorities prioritising projects that require immediate measures or studies in their areas. The responses received were evaluated by OPW officials,” he said.

“Based on these responses and a qualitative risk assessment that was carried out by OPW, a total of €1.3m is being allocated to local authorities for works and studies which can be substantially completed in 2009. In total, 30 projects in 11 counties will receive funding, in this, the first programme of its kind.

“When making the decision on funding my office concentrated on areas where there was a substantial risk to houses and other properties. These minor projects are part of OPW's strategy to reduce national flood risk. I will also announce details shortly of funding for schemes put forward by local authorities under this programme for 2010.”


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