A NEW fire station for Crossmolina is a number one priority for Mayo County Council, but it will be 2020 before funding will be made available for its construction.
The current Crossmolina Fire Station was described as the worst fire station in the county with two portacabins serving as a base for the firemen in the station. The matter was raised at last week’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council, which heard that Crossmolina has been included in the government’s 2016-2020 programme of funding for new stations but they have to wait until 2020 before funding is released.
Cllr Loftus outlined that so far this year the station has been called out on more than 30 occasions throughout north Mayo and last year there were over 75 callouts. He said it was not fair on the firemen to have to work in a station which was ‘literally not fit for purpose’.
“It is not fair those men come back from a callout and they are left with a small portacabin with one or two showers and a toilet to wash and clean. That is not fair to anyone coming back from any days job. These lads are going out working for our county and it is not fair. It is the worst fire station in Mayo and yet they cover the whole of north Mayo. I would like to invite you to Crossmolina to see yourself what they have to experience,” he said.
Cllr Loftus called for the council to raise a loan to finance the station, saying that a site was already in place for the new station and the plans have been drawn up.
He was supported by his fellow councillors with the new Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Blackie Gavin saying that the county’s firemen deserve the best that money can buy.
While supporting the call for a new fire station for Crossmolina, Mr John Condon, Director of Services for Mayo County Council said they will have to wait for the government to release the funding before going ahead with the project.
“I agree with you that it is a priority and is the council’s number one priority for new fire stations. It has taken some years to get it included in planning for funding but it has been included by government. However without funding, which is not expected until 2020, it cannot proceed because we simply don’t have the money,” said Mr Condon.