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CITY TRIBUNE

Flooding concerns over plans for new school wall

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Residents living in the west side of the city are concerned that the construction of a wall at a local primary school could lead to a potential flood risk.

City planners have given permission to Galway Educate Together National School at Thomas Hynes Road, Newcastle to construct an eight-foot high wall at their property. This decision has now been appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

The primary school was provided back in 2000 and underwent extensions in both 2010 and 2013, with the latter being the most significant with a two-storey eight-classroom extension being provided.

But now the Department of Education has received planning permission to erect a new plastered and capped wall along with a soakaway to remove any surface water generated by the development.

It is stated in the application that the existing storage would have the capacity to take any additional water generated by the construction of the wall – but local residents are concerned over this.

However, the proposed development was assessed by the drainage section of Galway City Council and, following an assessment, they considered the proposals as submitted to be acceptable and they had no objections.

The Department informed city planners that the school authorities will be responsible for the maintenance of the storage tank and soakaway and when the new community centre is provided in the area, there will be a shared agreement entered into.

It has also been confirmed by engineers appointed by the Department that there is no underground stream or underground water feeding into the system. The engineers have indicated how the system will work in an unusual storm or rainfall event with water being diverted into the public mains.

In granting permission for the wall, the City Council imposed three conditions – one of those stated that the construction and commissioning of the surface water soakaway and its connection to the collection tank will be monitored by a fully qualified engineer.

This engineer will submit a report to the City Council certifying the construction and installation of the soakaway and this is in the interest of protecting the residential amenities of the area.

The opposition to the construction of the wall came from Aengus Munnelly and Dr Fiona Gavin from Upper Newcastle Road and Eoin Kelly, Anne Kelly and PJ Costello with an address at Lisheenkyle, Athenry.

It is stated that during the construction of the school and extensions, water was pumped from the site and caused local flooding. Water is continually being pumped from the school grounds, it is claimed.

The objectors have no issue with the new wall being provided as long as it does not lead to an exacerbation of flooding in the immediate area. A decision on the planning appeal will be known in November.

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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