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By Frances Toner
Kiltimagh looks set to get a tourism product which could attract up to 30,000 visitors annually to the east Mayo town.
Mayo County Council has developed a hugely ambitious five-year tourism strategy which aims to increase visitor numbers to the county by 80 per cent by 2020 and, in the long-term, increase tourism by up to 350 per cent and create 1,000 new jobs.
Removing bike racks from the city centre to make way for the Coke Zero Bike Share scheme has led to concerns from cyclists that they will be left with nowhere to park their bicycles.
The issue of grass cutting in estates outside the old town council area in Castlebar in the new municipal district was raised at the Castlebar Municipal District this week. Fianna Fáil councillor Lisa Chambers said that she had been contacted by a number of people in the Kiltimagh area wondering when it would be done. However, she was informed by senior executive engineer for Mayo County Council, Anne Sweeney, that with the changeover in local government areas in the middle of the year the budgets that had been set at the start of the year did not allow for cutting at present and it would have to be allocated by the councillors in their budget for next year. Ms Sweeney also said a number of estates had been taken over in the Castlebar town area late last year after the budget had been agreed by the council, and there was not money budgeted this year to take care of them too.
The work that has been carried out to date on the footpath and road safety scheme in Mulranny village was this week praised by the members of the Belmullet Electoral Area Committee. Steve Verity, senior executive engineer with Mayo County Council gave the members an update on the progress of the project. The works from the church to the hotel in the village are underway and nearing completion, the second stretch from Moynish House to the tourist office has seen the land acquisition agreed and construction is expected to start once the first stretch of works is completed this month.
All of the nine elected members of Ballina Town Council were seriously critical of all the different route options for linking the N26 out of Foxford to the N5 on to Dublin that are under consideration at present, at the April meeting of the council on Wednesday night. They were so critical that Fine Gael councillor Mark Winters proposed that Ballina Town Council reject all of the route options, which was seconded by independent councillor Gerry Ginty. Paul Hyland, senior executive engineer in the Mayo national roads design office, gave the council a presentation on the various number of routes that are under consideration. The routes will link up with the N5 at any one of a number of potential junctions between Turlough and Bohola.
A number of Castlebar councillors have called on the NRA to put in a number of right hand turning junctions on the N5 between Castlebar and Turlough. Cllr Michael Kilcoyne raised the issue through a notice of motion, looking for traffic calming measures to be put in place at the turn into the Abbeybreaffy nursing home for those travelling from Castlebar. Cllr Kilcoyne told the meeting, “I’m not looking for the road to be widened, it’s wide enough as it is. All it will cost is the gallon of paint to put the markings down on the road.” His motion received universal support from the other members, with Cllr Henry Kenny asking that consideration also be given to something similar to the turn into the Church of Ireland church in Turlough a few miles further out the road.
The long awaited construction of a wastewater treatment plant and wastewater pumping station in Belmullet moved a step closer this week with the approval of the Part 8 planning by the members of the Belmullet Electoral Area Committee. The planning for this scheme has gone as far back as 1994 and it has taken this long to come to the planning stage. The existing wastewater collection network in the area dates back to 1957 and is currently discharging untreated waste into both Blacksod Bay and Broadhaven Bay.