TEMPLEMORE Town Council has given the go-ahead for Phase 2 of the redevelopment of the lake in the Town Park, which is set to cost E75,000. The original cost of the work was estimated at E90,000, but this was reduced following negotiations with the contractors.
However, there were some concerns expressed at the council’s September meeting, with Cllr Lily O’Brien questioning where the council was going to find the cash.
“Will the money come from capital spending or from the ratepayers?” she asked. “I want the lake project to progress, but I am anxious that house rents and commercial rates would not go up.”
She was supported by Cllr Valerie Young.
Town clerk Tom McGrath replied that setting the money aside was a budgetary matter.
“It is up to you to decide where it is to be found. You could phase it over a period of time. The money has to come from somewhere. Our Local Government Fund has been cut by E13,000 because of people not paying the Household Charge, but there is a lot more to the council budget than rates,” he said.
Cllr Mick Connell pointed out that there was a saving of E24,000 on the initial estimate, while Cllr Jim O’Shea said the council “will have to bite the bullet on it”.
He said the council had “always been to the fore in keeping rates as low as possible”, and believed the council will find the funding.
Cllr Martin Fogarty told the meeting: “The people of Templemore want this job done and understand it is costing money, but we need to look at 20 years ahead and let it be done right.”
Mr McGrath pointed out that the council now had an opportunity to get something done with the lake as “very little” had been spent on it in the past 40 years. “I don’t think the people would thank this council if the lake turned into a swamp.”
Cllr Marcus Wilson praised former Mayor Joe Bourke for getting the project started through setting aside funding from his mayoral fund towards the sensory garden at the swimming pool in the Town Park.
Cllr Bourke told the Tipperary Star that he had plans drawn up by local architects and had secured E90,000 from North
Tipperary Leader Partnership for that, but he had agreed to allow it to be put towards the entire lake project.
However, he said that the sensory garden would still go-ahead as part of the overall redevelopment of the park.
“I was happy to switch it over as it made sense to get the lake done first while the money was there,” he said. “It is important that is goes ahead.”
Phase 1 of the project cost E140,000, and Cllr Connell pointed out that there will be ongoing maintenance costs when the work is complete, but that a plan would be drawn up and brought back to the council.
The decision to proceed with Phase 2, which involves cleaning up the lake, was agreed unanimously and it is anticpated that work will start shortly.