It will cost Louth County Council almost four times as much to move the controversial Ferdia Park bring bank to the Ashwalk car park beside Super Valu than it would to keep it in the housing estate, a report commissioned by the Ardee Municipal District committee has found.
However, councillors are adamant the facility needs to be moved to an alternative location and plans to relocate it away from the estate are still on the table. The councillors are not considering the idea of a relocation within the estate.
At Thursday’s meeting, councillors were shown a report undertaken by an area engineer last month in which three locations for a new bottle bank were explored – the Ashwalk car park, the entrance/exit to Lidl and an alternative site at Ferdia Park.
Louth County Council have costed the move to the Ashwalk car park at around €22,000. That would involve resurfacing the back end of the car park, installing rails, public lighting and the addition of extra bins. Undoubtedly, this location is the preference of the local authority and the councillors although funding must first be committed to the move.
Locals will have to wait until after a budget meeting later this month to learn whether the councillors will commit the additional €17,000 needed to move it to the preferred Ashwalk location. A sum of €5,000 from the 2016 budget has already been ringfenced for the relocation of the bring banks.
Were councillors to vote to move the facility to the Ashwalk car park, they would need to take the remaining €17,000 from the 2017 discretionary budget that will be decided on in 10 days time. Louth County Council have confirmed no money from their general council budget will be made available.
“There is a view that probably the best site is the Ashwalk but it’s one of the more expensive ones,” Director of Services Joe McGuinness told the meeting. “There’s work to be done but I think undoubtedly, Ardee needs it. There’s no specific amenity site.
The council also looked into the possibility of relocating the bring bank within Ferdia Park itself. Unlike the Ashwalk location, this would be more cost effective – coming in at just €6,000, with €5,000 of that already in the pot for the job.
They looked at moving the bring bank facility at the housing estate across the way from it’s current location – to the bigger grass verge on the opposite side. The engineer said in his report that bigger grass area was further in from the road and would facilitate more bins – alleviating the main problems associated with the facility at present; rubbish dumping, bins at overcapacity and traffic dangers at the front of the estate.
But councillors are adamant that the bring banks will be taken away from the estate and they committed to looking into the Ashwalk move further.
“I think we’re all in agreement that the bottle bank has to be moved from Ferdia Park,” cathaoirleach Dolores Minogue said. “The amount of representations that have been made over the last few years – it’s what the people want. I think they deserve it. The area looks very unclean at times.”
“We support the initiative,” Fianna Fail councillor Liam Reilly said. The matter is now to be reviewed further and more costings in relation to moving the recycling facility to the Ashwalk will now be undertaken.