Donegal County Council has received word that they have been allocated almost €1.25million as a grant towards assisting communities to repair and improve roads within the county under the 2014 community involvement scheme.
The Community Involvement Scheme, which was successfully piloted in 2013, promotes a joint approach between Donegal County Council and local communities and is aimed at improving the quality of local roads and giving locals the chance to repair roads that they feel need to be addressed
The scheme which was so successful in it’s first year has been extended with several more projects envisaged for the future. Last year projects such as the Mamore Gap Scheme received national media coverage as a unique joint venture between the Council and the local community. This scheme cost approximately €55,000 with the local input of machinery and labour estimated at €30,000. The works involved widening two sharp corners and providing around 6 or 7 lay-bys to allow large buses and cars to pass through the notoriously narrow road.
This particular project was aimed at improving access to the area to promote tourism, however the Community Involvement Scheme is also an excellent opportunity for local people who are living on small local roads to carry out some works themselves and thereby attract funding to repair and resurface roads which would otherwise not receive funding due to current limited budgets.
There has been an increase in interest in these schemes from local communities and community groups who are interested in doing something for themselves to improve their local road network.
Alan Boyd Chairman of the Gweedore GAA Club commented on the scheme saying he has noticed a ‘huge difference’ on the road at Magheragallon, Gweedore, which was officially opened by Minister for State Dinny McGinley T.D. last week. This was one of the largest projects in Donegal funded under the Community Involvement Scheme in 2013 and involved the construction of 400m of road, the relaying of Eircom and water mains, diverting overhead ESB cables underground and founding a base and levels for a new road and drainage.
Alan added: “I think the Community Involvement Scheme is very beneficial to any community. In our case it had a threefold benefit- it enhanced the safety for the public and spectators at our grounds, it provided space for us to upgrade our facilities, and helped to provide part of a better road leading to Magheragallon and the surrounding areas.”
Eunan O’Donnell Executive Engineer with Donegal County Council commended the Community Involvement Scheme as win win for both the Council and communities in that work, which would have taken years to get funded, gets done.
“The Community Involvement Schemes constructed in 2013 have been very beneficial to both Donegal County Council and the local communities involved. The projects that were done in 2013 would otherwise have had to wait several years to get funded. The communities involved have increased their pride in their area, and have developed a good relationship with the Donegal County Council staff involved.”
David McElwaine, Executive Engineer in the Letterkenny Electoral area and who coordinated a similar project in Rathmullan with Rathmullan Enterprise Group agrees with these sentiments saying “this scheme allows the skills of the local group to be utilised and there is also good team work between Donegal County Council and the group ensuring that works are carried out to the highest standards.”
Donegal County Council was this week allocated a further €1.25m for another 42 projects in 2014.
Funding of €367,220 allocated under Community Involvement Scheme in 2013 and 8 schemes completed.
Funding of €1,249,863 allocated in 2014 and 42 schemes approved for completion
For more info visit www.donegalcoco.ie
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