Seanad Éireann - Volume 184 - 04 October, 2006
Water and Sewerage Schemes.
Mr. Kitt Mr. Kitt
Mr. Kitt: I thank the Cathaoirleach for permitting me to raise this matter and I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Browne.
This is the second time in the past hour that I have mentioned the town of Glenamaddy. On the first occasion, I referred to the fact that Glenamaddy lost a bank in August. It may have done so but I hope it is about to gain a sewerage scheme.
The town of Glenamaddy is famous because the song “Four Roads to Glenamaddy” was written about it. The town has grown over the years, is the home of some good industrial interests and €7 million has been granted for the provision of a new community school there. In addition, there are many new housing developments in the town. It has, however, been badly affected by the fact that a sewerage scheme to improve facilities there has not been approved. I hope the Minister of State will be able to indicate that the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government or his Department will be making an announcement in this regard in the near future.
The most recent information I received from Galway County Council was that a preliminary report and a water pricing policy report had been forwarded to the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. The council also indicated that additional information was sought under the provisions of circular L1/06. I hope this information is now with the Department and that approval can be given for the scheme, which forms part of a bundle with other schemes. It is vital that this necessary sewerage scheme be put in place in Glenamaddy to allow further development in the town to proceed.
I hope the Minister of State can provide some information and I thank him for coming before the House to deal with this matter.
Mr. Browne Mr. Browne
Mr. Browne: I thank Senator Kitt for raising this issue. My colleague, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, regrets that he is unable to be present to respond to the motion.
The water services investment programme 2005-07, published by the Minister in December 2005, includes some 60 major water and sewerage schemes, with a value of more than €451 million, for Galway. I am pleased to confirm that the Glenamaddy sewerage scheme is one of these schemes and that it is scheduled for a 2007 start in the investment programme. The funding has been allocated to build the scheme and it will be able to proceed to construction when the planning and procurement procedures have been completed.
The current position is that Galway County Council’s preliminary report and water services pricing policy report for the scheme are being examined by the Department. I am assured that a response will issue to the council in the near future. Approval of the preliminary report will allow the council to draw up contract documents — a major step forward towards the construction phase.
As the cost of the scheme is under €5 million it will benefit from the more streamlined procurement procedures the Minister introduced earlier this year to speed up progress with the many water and sewerage schemes planned throughout the country. When the preliminary report has been approved, the council will be free to proceed to construction with the collection system, without any further reference to the Department. The new wastewater treatment plant is being built as a public private partnership. The successful bidder will design and build the plant and then operate it for the council for a period of 20 years. This will mean the most up-to-date technology will be used and the highest quality wastewater treatment standards will prevail at all times.
The scheme is important for the local community. It will ensure that current problems with sewage disposal will be eliminated, that there will be capacity to service new development and that environmental standards will be preserved and improved for the benefit of the town and its residents.
The Senator may rest assured that the Minister is keen to see the scheme get under way quickly and that the necessary funding is available in his department for Galway County Council to draw down as soon as it is needed. The Minister and his Department will do everything they can to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays with the project and that this important new infrastructure is delivered to the people of Glenamaddy as quickly as possible.
Seanad Éireann 184 Water and Sewerage Schemes.