Elected members of Castlebar Town Council have praised the officials and staff of the authority for the breadth of projects completed or underway in the town.
At the December meeting of the authority, Mayor of Castlebar, Cllr Eugene McCormack, commended the work and diligence of Town Council staff under the direction of Town Manager Seamus Granahan.
In his financial report released just this week and at the meeting Mr Granahan outlined the range of capital projects the council were active in during 2011.
He paid particular attention to three key projects - the town centre regeneraton project; the riverwalk project; and the link road project.
Other items which were discussed at the monthly meeting included plans for Castlebar Military Barracks, the Imperial Hotel and car-parking facilities.
The Town Manager told the meeting of the latest developments with regard to the Council’s aim to take over the Castlebar Military Barracks. Describing the property at Springfield as a ‘substantial strategic site’, he said it presented difficult issues. He pointed out that securing and protecting the site, parts of which are derelict, would entail ‘substantial cost’.
Mr Granahan plans to meet the Department of Defence in the New Year to discuss the matter. Asked by Cllr Frank Durcan whether the property would come at no cost to the council, Mr Granahan said that was what the council were seeking.
Mr Granahan also provided an update on work at the Imperial Hotel, which the council acquired earlier this year. He told the meeting that they had to undertake a ‘minor’ contract to secure the safety of the building, which is currently vacant.
He said that the councillors will be shown a design for the redevelopment of the building early next year, adding that it is ‘an important project for the council’. It is believed that the hotel will be the council’s new offices.
Mr Granahan also told the meeting that plans are ongoing for a car park opposite the Mayo Peace Park, which will include a proposed building for the town band.
The council also plans to lease Hoban’s car park in Castlebar for four years and nine months. Mr Granahan told the meeting that although the lease would cost the council €20,000 per year, it would be cost neutral, as the revenue generated from the 130 to 140 spaces planned for there would cover that cost.
He also added that a contract had been awarded for the demolition and removal of the old tennis clubhouse on Pavilion Road and the creation of a car-park on the site which will accommodate between 120 and 130 spaces.
He also added that he was hopeful of progress relating to the development of a link road from Pontoon Road at Waterville to Rathbawn.
Several members of the Council joined in paying tribute to Mr Granahan and his staff on the amount of work being planned.