There was some good news for the county this week when Westmeath County Council formally revealed its three year capital programme.
The report details suggestions for developments within the areas of housing, transport, water services, and social infrastructure.
In the area of housing the council highlighted its commitment to existing projects with regard to construction, purchase, leasing, and the Rental Accommodation Scheme. The council is eager to progress its long term letting arrangements with the hope of adding over 40 housing units to its stock.
As for transport, it is envisaged that the works on the N4 to Longford will be advanced, as will The Downs improvement works and the Kilbeggan/ Tullamore link. The Garrycastle Bridge in Athlone is also well past its due date for repairs.
Water services have been a huge issue in the county over the last couple of months, and the council have been doing trojan work to solve short term and long term issues across the county. Without up-to-date and serviceable water works we’ll only have more issues with the system. And I know for a fact none of us wants to go through the last couple of months again!
The expansion of the Mullingar Water Supply scheme and progression of the Athlone Main Drainage Scheme will go a long way to improve the service provided by our council. Not to mention the €6 million water mains rehabilitation programme in Mullingar and Athlone.
The council has now suspended the sale of cowparks. There’s no money to be made there at the moment, which has meant a slow down in social infrastructure programmes. But on the plus side Mullingar Town Park will open this spring and Moate Town Park will be developed further.
This council stuff might seem a bit of a bore to you, but from the looks of it the council was the first thing on your minds when your water went. They took in 9,000 phone calls and worked above and beyond the call of duty to fix roads and water problems.
The council does a lot of hard and under-appreciated work across the county, as the three year plan shows, and I think it’s about time we recognised this. And I’m not talking about councillors here, I’m talking about those in the background. Those who answer the phones, help you tax your car, create beautiful and efficient plans for parks and one-way systems in your town, and make sure funding is there to develop the county.