immediate road repairs are to be carried out to fix potholes on Portarlington’s Main Street and Market Square, but footpaths must again take a back seat because there is no money allocated to them.
Laois County Council has accepted that connections made to water mains and installation of meters has damaged paths but repairs will not be carried out until the money is available.
Cllr Ray Cribbin said the paths were nearly more important than the roads.
“A lot of people are concerned. Cars still go up on the paths and break them. The only repair on the path on Main Street is in front of Goodwins. I have no doubt they will be done, but I am concerned as they start to deteriorate. Years ago every motion was about paths, I’d hate to think we would go back to that,” he said.
Cllr Paul Mitchell said it was a health and safety issue.
“You can’t just say there is no money, it is absolutely vital, they just have to be repaired. Market Square is the centrepiece of the town. The buildings are repaired, the least we can do is repair paths,” he said.
“We all know how limited resources are for everything, we are living on crumbs, but I agree, we should be looking for more money for maintenance of footpaths. Shoppers could trip and fall,” said Cllr Tom Mulhall.
Senior Engineer with the council, Orla Barrett says they will spend “significant funds” from their discretionary maintenance budget on Foxcroft Street and Crowe lane this year, but other damaged paths in Port would have to wait until 2013, including those at the AIB and at the entrance to St Michael’s Park,