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02/08/2021

WATCH: Concern over soaring cost of restoring historic water fountain in Limerick village

THE final cost of works to upgrade and restore an historic water fountain which was donated to the people of Adare will be more than double what was originally estimated.

At a recent meeting of Adare / Rathkeale Municpal District, Cllr Adam Teskey requested a report into the project amid rumours that it was running significantly over budget.

In a written reply, Gordon Daly, Director of Service for Community, Tourism and Culture, advised members that the final tender for the project was €177,585.50.

“The initial scope of this project primarily included repairs to the fountain and a small amount of work to the area around it to provide additional seating,” he said adding the initial estimate was €80,000.

“In the course of the detailed design of the project, it became apparent that a more comprehensive programme of work was necessary,” he added.

The additional elements of the project include the full restoration of the fountain, soft landscaping of the site surrounding it, the installation of additional paving and an access ramp to provide universal access.

Mr Daly stated that €40,000 in funding has been secured under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme along with €20,000 from the General Municipal Allocation. The council, he said, will pay the balance of the cost.

While welcoming the clarity, Cllr Teskey says he has some concerns about the cost.

“I welcome the fact that the water fountain is being restored but serious questions have come to light in the last couple of weeks. We were presented with an estimated cost of €40,000 which then went to €80,000 and which is now spiraling out of control,” he said.

“I now want to know, if we are providing another €130,000 to the project from central resources, what services and areas are going to be deprived?” he added.

Adare-based councillor Bridie Collins says she fully supports the project which has the potential to transform the village.

“The fountain itself is being fully repaired and restored. It is one of these very old monuments and it’s right in the centre of the village and it’s absolutely important, for me as a councillor, that it stands the test of time, that it is presented to the next generation of Adare people in a fit state and in a future-proofed state so, in that regard, I think this is a very worthwhile project,” she said.

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