Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (437)

John Perry

Question:

578 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that it will cost approximately €1 million to run the new Kilsellagh water scheme in Sligo; if he will reimburse Sligo County Council for the upkeep in view of the fact that this will have a major impact on their funding if it is has to come out of current budgets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25118/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

The Kilsellagh water treatment works is an element of the Sligo and environs water supply scheme for which the capital funding is being provided by my Department under the water services investment programme 2004-2006. My Department is awaiting submission by Sligo County Council of tender documents for this element of the scheme.

Current expenditure in respect of the domestic portion of operational costs of water services projects falls to be provided for in the context of local authority budgets which are funded from a variety of sources, including general-purpose grants from the local government fund. The domestic share of the operating costs in this case will in due course be taken into account under the local government fund following completion of the scheme. Allocations from the fund are made to local authorities following finalisation of the Department's annual Estimates process.

In addition, the Government's water services pricing policy requires full recovery of costs from non-domestic users on the basis of marginal capital and average operational costs along with universal metering of this sector by 2006. The application of this policy by Sligo County Council will meet the non-domestic element of costs associated with the operation of the Kilsellagh plant.