Nearly a year after the formation of a Town Steering Group in Ballinamore, Chairperson, Maureen Martin has said that there continues to be great enthusiasm and feedback.
A number of sub-committees were formed at the first meeting, namely dealing with (1) Courthouse (2) Mean Scoil Fatima (3) Vocational School (4) St. Felim’s (5) John McGahern Festival and (6) Funding.
The remit of each sub-committee was to research ownership of properties, possibility of obtaining any for community projects, researching community projects, needs of the community and, of course funding possibilities. A second Public Meeting, again which was very well attended, took some feedback from the sub-committees and other urgent issues were also discussed such as lack of Childcare facilities; public transport; employment and existing businesses struggling and some closing down.
At the meeting it was noted that the Courthouse is a major project which would involve vast amounts of money. A feasibility study has already been carried out and Leitrim County Council are to discuss with The Courts Services to ensure that they bring this building up to a safe standard.
The Mean Scoil Fatima sub-committee are currently researching ownership and uses for same and we are hoping for some updated feedback very soon.
The Vocational School sub-committee have met with a representative from the Sligo/Leitrim/Mayo Education and Training Board (ETB) and he has assured the committee that the building will remain in the ownership of the E.T.B. and that no equipment will be removed from the building. A survey for ideas for usage will be carried out as soon as possible.
A number of members of the St. Felim’s sub-committee have already met with the Bishop regarding ownership and future uses also.
The John McGahern sub-committee are currently researching ideas and dates and will feed back at the next meeting.
The Funding sub-committee has already researched funding options. Whilst there are not a lot of funds available currently it is hoped that further options will come on stream nearer the end of the year and early next year. Their work is ongoing and they also will feed back at the next meeting which will probably be held next month.
“The enthusiasm coming from the entire community is very heartening and with a lot of hard work, commitment and a united effort a lot can be achieved for our town,” Town Steering Group Chairperson, Maureen Martin, told the Leitrim Observer.
“The fact that this is an entirely coordinated, community effort, that every persons ideas are being taken on board, will ensure that no stone will be left unturned to bring employment and tourism back to Ballinamore Town.”