LAOIS County Council has been seeking expressions of interest for sponsorship of the maintenance of a number of landscaped roundabouts in Laois.
For the last number of weeks, the council has been offering businesses the chance to sponsor roundabouts in Portlaoise, Portarlington, Emo and Graiguecullen, claiming that the venture would provide “an excellent promotional opportunity”.
A spokesperson with the council responsible for overseeing the project has revealed that four local businesses have applied and over the next few weeks the decision will be made, with the roundabouts going to the highest bidders.
The spokesperson said that the cost of sponsoring a roundabout is a minimum of €250 per sign, with at most four signs per roundabout. The project was initially launched in 2006 and the county council only have one consistent sponsor in Portlaoise since then. The sponsorship money from businesses will not only be used to erect signs, but will also be used to maintain any flower beds contained on the roundabout.
The issue of sponsoring roundabouts was raised at a recent Portlaoise Town Council meeting, when it emerged that many roundabouts in the town do not have names.
Cllr Willie Aird called on Laois County Council to erect name signage on all roundabouts in Portlaoise, but in a response from the roads department it was said that signage had not been erected due to funding and the fact that names have not been agreed for all roundabouts.
Cllr Rotimi Adebari said such signs were highly necessary in the technological age, as many people have sat navs in their cars and the lack of names makes navigating very complex.
Mayor of Portlaoise, Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald suggested for their next meeting that all councillors come up with possible names and she raised the idea of getting local businesses to sponsor them.