Senior Council engineer Orla Barrett has pleaded with local councillors to allocate money for footpaths in the budget for next year.
This coming Monday, December 17, the council will sign off on its 2013 budget, but for the past four years, no money was set aside to repair the county’s paths.
Requests from councillors to fix paths in Portarlington had Ms Barrett reminding them it was their decision to take away funding in 2008.
“When you are sitting at your budget meeting next week, remember that. You have the control to look for paths, my hands are tied. Years ago there was €80,000 to €100,000 for footpaths each year,” she said.
Cllr Ray Cribbin had called to repair paths on Foxcroft Street, Main Street and install a new path for Corrig.
“Elderly people have fallen because of the way the path is gone on Main Street, At times I’m ashamed to be living there,” he said.
Ms Barrett said she is working to find funding to maintain paths, and is tackling a long list.
“We got additional money last year and did Station Road. We have to tackle the worst first,” she said.
Regarding Corrig, she said funding could be sought from Laois Partnership, as the path would be used for recreation.
Cathaoirleach Cllr Paul Mitchell agreed that money needed to be set aside in the council budget.
“Probably the policy of no money for paths is bad. We need to allow some this year,” he said.