28.07.10 - €20.5m in Extra Funding For Local Authorities
Mr. John Gormley, TD, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local
Government, today (28 July 2010), announced an additional €20.5 million
from the Local Government Fund to assist city and county councils with running costs on their water and sewerage treatment plants.
This follows on from an additional €1.5 million from the Fund that was notified to authorities last April to support training needs in the water services sector. The additional €22m is on top of the Local Government Fund general purposes grants of €870 million, notified to authorities earlier this year.
"I am pleased to be able to make these allocations to financially support local authorities in running their water services infrastructure and in meeting their environmental obligations" the Minister said in announcing the allocations. The Minister added that this 'top-up' allocation, within the Local Government Fund, which has been provided successively in each year since 2003 was further evidence of the Governments commitment to the sector.
The Minister said that the €20.5 million was additional to the capital spend of €508 million available to his Department in 2010 to fund water services infrastructure. Average spending on water services infrastructure over the period 2009 and 2010 will be up 3% on the 2008 outturn. "Given the ongoing economic difficulties, this continuing high level of expenditure reflects the Governments ongoing commitment to preserving and protecting our water resources, to meeting EU standards for drinking water and wastewater treatment and to putting critical infrastructure in place that will ensure ongoing support for industrial, commercial and other development." the Minister said.
€8.7 million from the €20.5 million package will directly contribute
towards local authorities operation and maintenance costs on recently
completed water and wastewater treatment plants. The balance of €11.8
million will be used to offset sampling costs to establish compliance with drinking water and wastewater effluent standards and the cost of licence applications to the Environmental Protection Agency for wastewater discharges. The Minister pointed out that allocations from the €11.8 million fund had been weighted towards those authorities that were meeting the required standards.