Cllrs not feeling flush over the cost of public loos

November 23rd, 2019 7:10 AM

By Jackie Keogh

The ‘super loo' in Clon has been temporarily moved.

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THE temporary removal of the superloo in Clonakilty to facilitate the flood relief works led to a cost benefit analysis of the price of a pee.

Speaking at the Municipal District’s annual budget meeting, the municipal officer, Justin England, said the three month’s rental would be reimbursed to the local authority.

But, with annual rental charges for superloos set at €38,000 a year, the councillors wondered if the local authority’s money could be better spent.

For the annual fee, the municipal officer said the facility is supplied and maintained by the company, and it is used about 3,000 times in the year at a cost of 50 cent.

Mr England informed the councillors that they could only review the contract with the supplier 18 months before the next 20-year, or long-term, contract was due for renewal. 

The councillors were considering the fact that they spent €339,678 on the operation and maintenance of all public conveniences – super or otherwise – in 2019 and they are expected to spend €311,445 in 2020.

Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) said it is practice in other countries for businesses that display a sticker saying tourists can use their loos get preferential treatment, or maybe even a rate rebate, and that Cork County Council should consider a similar scheme.

The discussion led to a debate about what to do with the public loos in Ballineen and Enniskeane.

Mac Dara O h-Icí, a senior council executive, confirmed that the Council has €60,000 in its budget to upgrade the twin village facilities and it has been in discussions with local groups, including the Ballineen Enniskeane Development Association (BEDA).

Mr O h-Icí said the cost of upgrading the building could be €120,000 plus an additional €5,000 or €10,000 in wages for maintenance.

He said: ‘It is being considered that the money could be better spent in Ballineen and Enniskeane.’ However, no decision has yet been made about how the money will be spent.

Cllr Karen Coakley (FG) said her job as a tour guide has convinced her that there is nothing as embarrassing as the state of our public conveniences.

‘They reflect badly on us,’ she said, ‘we need to be aiming for a much higher standard.’

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