The People's Park in Portarlington
Dedicated money should be set aside to pay for the upkeep of the public park in the heart of Portarlington in a similar way to how the park in Portlaoise is funded by Laois County Council.
So demanded Cllr Aidan Mullins, Sinn Féin, in a meeting with Council officials recently which was attended by the local authority’s head of finance.
Cllr Mullins tabled a motion calling on the council to provide an annual budget for ongoing maintenance work in the People’s Park in Portarlington.
The written reply from Adrian Barrett, Senior Engineer, outlined the current approach.
“The Council currently undertakes a range of maintenance and upkeep works in the People's Park in Portarlington. These works include annual tree maintenance, monthly weed control, hedge maintenance and landscape planting / maintenance and weekly servicing of litter bins and park furniture,” he said.
However, Cllr Mullins felt more can be done when he raised the issue at the Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District meeting.
“More is needed to be able to plan some of the works in the park. It is nearly at the discretion of the council when we look for funds for works,” he said.
While he said the Town and Village Renewal scheme was an avenue, Cllr Mullins said it only allows specific projects. He said the local Community Employment Scheme also assists.
“There is an awful lot of other works to be done. There is an upgrade plan in place but I am asking for a specific budget and Portlaoise has an annual substantial budget.
“I am asking for Portarlington to be given a budget that we are not going for ad hoc piecemeal funding,” he said.
He appealed directly at the meeting to Mr Gerry Murphy, head of finance, who attended in his capacity as Director of Services with responsiblity for the Laois side of the town that borders Offaly.
Mr Murphy said he would certainly look into the potential of securing a budget.
A plan is in place for a significant upgrade of the park which includes rewilding and other environmentally focused projects.
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