Millions will be poured into water services
Wexford County Council will receive €8,605,019 from Irish Water in 2020 as part of its ongoing service level agreement (SLA) with the utility company.
When combined with €1,890,000 in government grants, €131,297 from pension incomes and €25,500 from other incomes the Council will receive an estimated €10,651,815 for the provision of water services in 2020.
However, according to its 2020 Budget it will spend €11,609,097 on the same services next year, with the bulk of this money going towards water plants and networks (€2,175,608) and service support costs (€2,268,099).
It will spend a further €2,421,723 on waste water treatment and €325,000 on the operation and maintenance of public conveniences, and €200,000 on local authority water services.
With regards to the latter, Cllr John Hegarty asked whether the Council was fully utilising public toilets and whether it was possible they could be phased out in the coming years.
'How often are they used? I'm particularly thinking of ones that are in the town centres which get very little use. I would be in favour of phasing them out in certain locations where they're not being used,' said the Fine Gael Councillor.
Alternatively, Cllr Hegarty suggested applying for a grant to ensure the toilets were better maintained, better monitored and therefore better used.
In response, Director of Services John Carley said a review of the services had recently been carried out but that the Council could look at them again, adding the Council was 'entering into agreements with a number of community groups' to improve these services.