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Local councillor argues more funding needed for roads and footpaths, not LED lights

A Laois county councillor has argued that more funding needs to be put into upgrading roads and footpaths, not installing LED lights.

In the council’s revenue Budget meeting for 2019 last November, cllr Brendan Phelan said that public representatives cannot face the people of Laois when the council is spending up to €2 million upgrading public lighting.

He echoed his previous sentiments in the latest Borris-in-Ossory/Mountmellick municipal district meeting.

“It’s going to take a 100 years when a road is tarred and chipped to get done under the present budget,” said cllr Phelan.

His statement came as the meeting was discussing the Low Carbon Town Projects strategy following EU rules for lighting.

Here, it was revealed that energy efficient LED lights will be installed in Mountrath and Borris in Ossory starting June 2019 and should be finished being installed in housing estates in 2020.

Cllr James Kelly, who raised the motion asking for a time scale for the fitting of energy saving LEDs also asked if additional street lights will be installed in poorly lit areas.

“There is no additional funding at present to install new street lighting poles,” said senior engineer Farhan Nasiem.

When asked where the funding is coming from to install the new lights, Mr Nasiem replied that it comes out of the Capital Fund for Laois County Council.

He added that it is a ‘save to invest’ scheme which should see its dividends paid back over seven to 10 years.

SEE ALSO – New footpaths in Stradbally cost ‘less than €100,000’