Funding approved for three group sewerage schemes in Co Leitrim

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Funding has been approved for three Co Leitrim group sewerage schemes (now called Community Waste Water Connections Schemes) under the three year Rural Water Programme.
Leitrim County Council submitted a total of 17 applications for funding under this three year programme but nationally, only six projects were funded, three of which were in Co Leitrim.
The successful schemes are:
 -  Ballynamony Community Waste Water Connection Scheme;
 -  Rossinver Community Waste Water Connection Scheme and
 -  Tully, Jamestown Community Waste Water Connection Scheme.
A spokesperson for Leitrim County Council informed last Monday's meeting that communication will now be made with the successful groups to discuss progressing the works.
“We are also working with the department on demonstration schemes approved under the previous programme including Hartley/Cartown and Edenville. We hope to agree a plan of action with the department for their satisfactory progression,” said the director of services, Joseph Gilhooly.
The news came to light after a query by Cllr Enda Stenson. Although he welcomed the news that 50% of the schemes funded under the three year programme were in Co Leitrim, Cllr Stenson said that the “very small” amount of successful applications nationally was “extremely disappointing.”
He noted that current restrictions with planning mean that people “cannot build a house in rural Leitrim.
“How can we then go into villages and towns and build?” he asked.
“Most of these have no public sewerage schemes so why are we being encouraged to move to urban areas.”
The Independent councillor said that during summer evenings you can visit any town or village across the country and “smell sewage.”
“It is clear that more needs to be done to upgrade sewerage treatment facilities and to sort out planning issues for rural Leitrim,” he said.
Cllr Sean McGowan backed his call observing that “I don't know what the reluctance of the department is to fund group sewerage schemes.”
Councillors Brendan Barry and Des Guckian also spoke up in support.
Director of Services, Joseph Gilhooly noted the provision of group sewerage scheme “is an expensive task” complicated by the fact, once complete, it is deemed to be for immediate takeover by Irish Water.
He said group sewerage schemes were too complicated to make them suitable for governance by a committee of volunteers.