By Sean Moriarty
Residents in Kilcummin have branded Wednesday evening’s public meeting on a proposed sewage scheme as “an election gimmick”.
Irish Water invited local residents to a public information meeting to outline a proposed sewage scheme that would link the parish to the Killarney town waste water network.
The €3 million project will involve the building of a new pump and additional infrastructure works. Work is expected to start this year and be completed by the end of 2020.
At Wednesday’s meeting in Kilcummin GAA Club, it emerged that it would cost €4,000 per house to connect to the new pipe network.
Residents say with local elections scheduled for May 24, that the unveiling of plans is just a vote-gathering exercise and that nothing will be done.
They say that essential road repairs in the parish are being put on the long-finger because the sewerage network would necessitate digging the road again.
“I think it is an election gimmick,” Knockattgle resident Pat O’Sullivan told the Killarney Advertiser yesterday (Thursday).
“It has been on the long-finger for years but our roads are in an atrocious state. Regardless of the sewerage scheme, the roads are destroying our cars. How are people going to pay this €4,000 connection fee, most of the people here are only barely paying their mortgage and many houses here are only rented, so who is going to pay that?”
Another local resident, who asked not to be named, is in favour of the scheme, but she too warned that the road network in the area needs to be addressed first.
Additional costs would also have to be absorbed by the residents to bring the final portion of the network from the roadside connection to the house or outbuilding.
“This is very important. I know it is delaying housing and other buildings, and the roads have to be done,” she said. “The connection fee is part of the procedure, it is what is done in other places.”
“The Connection Charging Policy took effect on April 1 2019 with the average cost per-single domestic unit for a standard connection being €2,272 for water and €3,929 for wastewater,” Irish Water’s spokeswoman Marie Sheehan said.