Footpath improvements are to be carried out to avoid insurance claims, the Borris-in-Ossory/Mountmellick Municipal District Meeting heard this week.
Cllr James Kelly had a motion before the meeting seeking the council to replace/upgrade the footpaths at Shannon Road and Fr O’Connor Cresent in Mountrath.
It was recently announced that the Irish Public Bodies is to re-distribute €2.65 million over the next three years to Laois County Council.
A response from acting senior engineer Philip McVeigh said the council will decide on the relative apportionment for particularly locations, “which will be selected on a risk management based approach”.
“This has got to do with insurance claims, more than anything else,” Cllr Kelly said.
“Shannon Road is in a shocking state,” he said.
Engineer Paul McLoughlin confirmed they will be looking at a risk based approach “and where there is a history of claims”.
A survey should be done to identify dangerous sections in urban areas, Cllr Paddy Bracken said. “There are a lot of barriers for people with disabilities and mobility issues – things like high kerbs,” he said.
Any work undertaken will ensure accessibility for all, Mr McLoughlin said.
A programme of works for a number of years should be drawn up, Cllr Brendan Phelan said.
However, Cllr Phelan said he wasn’t happy that the Irish Public Bodies was decided how this money should be spent. “Some of that money should be used to alleviate the high rates being for business. Some of it should go to help businesses that are struggling – to keep businesses open,” he said.
There should be a separate annual fund for footpath repairs, he said.
A rebate system has been introduced for rate, director of services Donal Brennan told the meeting.
He said the money would be used in areas where it is needed. “There is no point paying out insurance money for a trip or a fall,” he said.
Money would not go very far, Cllr Kelly said. He said around €20,000 would only complete a 60 – 70 metre stretch.
“Funding is totally inadequate,” Cllr Brendan Phelan said.