Warning over projects after county hands over to city

Warning over projects after county hands over to city
A map showing the current Cork city boundary in red with the new expanded boundary in black. 

COUNTY Hall has said it cannot give assurances that priority projects in areas that will form part of a new city boundary will be taken on by City Hall.

Councillors have been raising concerns that major and urgent infrastructure projects that have been progressed by the local authority may be delayed or not completed at all once they are handed over to the city.

Douglas, Ballincollig, Blarney, Tower, Cork Airport and Glanmire will all become part of the city under the Local Government Bill on Friday, May 31 next year following local elections the week before.

The Cork Science and Innovation Park, traffic light installation at Ballincollig's Inniscarra Bridge and infrastructure upgrades at Lehenaghmore have all been cited as projects that could fall through the cracks by representatives in the boundary transition areas.

Councillor Des O'Grady (SF) said clarity is needed on the status of a number of projects.

“These areas are being transferred into the city and very little will be done with them until that happens and the problem will then be for City Council.” 

County Hall director of roads and transportation Aidan Weir said the process of transfer is complex but assured councillors that Cork County Council has done everything it can to progress projects in soon to be city areas.

However, he added it will be up to City Council officials as to whether they continue with them.

“It will be a tricky process in relation to funding and how projects are handed over. The handover will happen next June and from that point on the city will be responsible for carrying out these contracts,” he said.

“Whether they will fully commit to all the projects that are within the transition area, we don't know,” he added.

County Hall deputy chief executive Declan Daly said the county authority has continued to carry out work on projects officials have long known would become part of City Hall's remit.

"I think we have taken a responsible attitude to these projects that will transfer over," he said.

"There's a balancing equation to be done with the resources that we have between the area inside the new city boundary and outside and I think we have done a reasonable job in promoting and carrying on the projects which we all regard as priorities pre-boundary alteration day," he added.

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