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Call for new facility at Rahoon ‘den of iniquity’

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A City Council shed which had become ‘a den of iniquity’ for teenagers should be transformed into a second civic amenity site for the residents of westside of the city intent on recycling.

That’s the view of City Councillor Neil McNelis, who said there is a glaring need for a recycling facility other than the existing one at Liosbán which serves the entire population of the city.

The shed at the bottom of Rahoon Road was occasionally used by the local authority roads department but has lately been taken over by youths as a hot spot for drink, drugs and sex. It has also attracted graffiti artists, who have spray-painted the shed with tags and slogans.

City Mayor Padraig Conneely said he had discovered needles and used condoms at the site and has called for it to be razed to the ground.

However, Labour Cllr McNelis believes it could be the ideal recycling site for residents from Knocknacarra, Salthill, Shantalla and Claddagh instead of having to travel across the city to the Liosbán/Sandy Road depot.

He said he had received calls from numerous groups this year about looking to have a civic amenity recycling site in the westside of the city.

“I am calling on the city manager and the director of environmental services to consider using the derelict site on the Rahoon road,” said the Labour councillor.

“I believe for an investment of €15,000 this site could be fenced off, CCTV provided and a proper ground surface put down and this facility would be of a huge benefit to the community at large.

“This centre would be free to use as is Sandy Road, and could operate for a couple of hours each day and be used for disposal of batteries, a clothes bans, cash for cans, oils, paint, bottles. It would again help recycling in the community and would assist in household waste reduction and help save money.

“Having the opportunity to drop off a toaster to a site like this saves money than putting it in a bin.”

If the site is deemed unsuitable, the Council should examine whether the Parks Department depot at Rusheen Bay used by the public to drop off old Christmas trees would be suitable.

A spokesman for Galway City Council said while the proposal is “not without merit” it would have to be considered under a number of different headings, including cost and availability of staff.

He said there were no plans to add the shed to the derelict sites register.

“We acknowledge something needs to be done about its appearance. The graffiti needs to be removed as it is offensive,” the spokesman said.

“A civic amenity site even a small one would require an EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] licence which would involve a lot more work than simply refurbishing a depot but it’s certainly worth considering.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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