STREET CLEAN: Glenflesk firm EasyClean already provides a commercial street cleaning service in the locality.
By Sean Moriarty
A special meeting of Killarney Municipal District will take place today (Friday) at Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre where elected councillors and Kerry County Officials will, among other topics, discuss the road map for reopening society and businesses after weeks of COVID-19 restrictions.
Many councillors are calling a sanitisation programme to be introduced where street-staff from the Council would power wash public facilities on a regular basis.
“I believe there needs to be hand sanitiser stations readily available. Hand sanitiser must be made available in all of our public toilets with increased scheduled cleaning. Disinfection daily of streets, footpaths, benches, public bins and railings, needs to form part of the existing schedule of works,” Cllr Maura Healy-Rae told the Killarney Advertiser.
“Furthermore, I think signage reminding people to adhere to social distancing needs to be erected. All of these measures combined would ensure public confidence with returning to what will be the ‘new normal’ for some time.”
Her thoughts were echoed by Cllr Marie Moloney.
“It is all about instilling confidence in people. They need to have the confidence to come back into town and do their shopping,” she said. “At the very least the town should be sanitised every day with disinfectant.”
Cllr Moloney, who cannot attend the meeting as a household family member falls into the vulnerable category and she needs to limit her contacts, is also calling on the National Parks and Wildlife Service to play its part.
“A simple thing like making the walks and cycle tracks in the park one-way would avoid close-contact,” she added. “People are living in fear and visual actions need to be seen to be taken to instil that confidence.”
Business rates will be another hot topic, with several councillors calling for Council action and rate deferrals or exemptions.
Such a request may not be so easy at municipal level, any change to the rates policy would have to go before a full Council meeting and there are budgetary ramifications to be taken into consideration too as any loss of income for the Council would have a knock-on effect on services it provides to the county.
Killarney’s vital tourism and hospitality sectors have taken a massive hit in the last few weeks and efforts are needed to get these businesses and employers back on track.
“Both are vitally important for business and employment in the greater Killarney area. I will be asking for a relaxation of rate bills to allow businesses to recover following their sudden closure due to COVID-19,” Cllr Brendan Cronin told the Killarney Advertiser. “I will be asking the Kerry County Council tourism unit, along with the Chamber of Commerce in our county to work together on the focus of selling our tourism product nationally, with the goal of increasing ‘holidaying at home’, with the potential of attractive holiday packages in an effort to boost the tourism sector in the latter end of 2020.”