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Killone water cuts averted

THE threat of shutdown of a water supply for over 360 homes and farms, a short distance from Ennis, has been averted following an 11th hour intervention by Clare County Council concerning overdue payments.

Previously, Councillor Johnny Flynn warned that the Killone Group Water Scheme (KGWS) was facing the prospect of being forced to shut off its supply over the coming weeks unless it secured adequate funding from the Department of the Environment or Clare County Council.
However, the latest crisis facing the scheme seems to be resolved for the short term at least, after the council gave a verbal commitment that the bulk of the 2009 subsidy of about €29,600 would be paid, subject to two minor conditions.
Earlier this week, the KGWS claimed it was out of pocket by €30,000 for 2009 Part A subsidy, €40,000 for 2010 Part A subsidy, €28,000 for the August 2010 repair of the reservoir, €80,000 for the upgrade of the old pump house over the last few years as well as production costs for three-quarters of 2009 and the full year of 2011.
Councillor Flynn and Deputy Joe Carey, who lives in the Killone group area, have been in contact with Environment Minister Phil Hogan in an effort to resolve funding difficulties for the scheme.
Both have welcomed the council’s pledge concerning the payment of the 2009 subsidy.
KGWS is a small to medium-sized rural group water scheme located about 4km south of Ennis. There are 360 connections, all metered, made up of a mix of domestic, agricultural and some commercial consumers. Set up in 1978 as a voluntary group water scheme, KGWS supplies water to the local community.
The financial situation of the group scheme was clearly laid out to members at their annual general meeting on Tuesday night. The initial mood was that of anger, disappointment and a suspicion of the public institutions, both local and national, that deal with their infrastructure.
“The group has received a verbal confirmation that the bulk of the 2009 subsidy for the maintenance of the distribution system would be paid subject to two minor conditions. This stop-gap measure was appreciated,” said group chairman, Murt Reddington.
Clare County Council senior water services engineer, Seán Ward stated the council is anxious the group should remain in a position to pay its operating costs and maintain water supply to its members.
“The council has been working with the group to resolve payment of its 2009 subsidy claim. This is close to being resolved, as advised yesterday to the group’s accountants and to a number of public representatives, who enquired about the matter.
The ‘undisclosed conditions’ to which Deputy Joe Carey refers are, in fact, three specific costed items in KGWS’s documentation about which the council, in line with normal good practice in disbursing public money, has asked for further clarification.
“In the usual course of events, the claim for the 2010 subsidy would be made in mid-2011 and has not yet been submitted by KGWS. In discussions, the council has advised the group that the cost of work done on its reservoir in 2010 may be included in the 2010 subsidy claim for consideration,” he said.


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