COUNTY Carlow is set to benefit from a €2.8m public lighting energy-efficient project to be completed by the end of 2022.
Director of services Padraig O’Gorman outlined the project at a recent meeting of Carlow County Council, adding that the project involved three regions across the country, with Kilkenny County Council the lead authority. The overall costs of the project will be recouped over 13 years.
Mr O’Gorman stated that it was hoped the contracts would be on the ground this time next year and all public lighting replaced to a more energy-efficient alternative by the end of 2022.
The council heard that currently, the annual maintenance cost of public lighting in the county was €150,000 to €160,000.
Cllr Fintan Phelan welcomed the project and looked forward to the upgrading of public lighting to LED. He added that some estates in Carlow had “led the way” with energy-efficient public lighting and it was important the others follow suit.
Cllr Michael Doran asked whether that would affect the current programme if the maintenance continued to be done on existing lighting, while cllr John Cassin wanted to know how the work would be carried out: “Are we going to be left until last or does the work go on simultaneously?”
Cllr Andy Gladney remarked that Carlow was “always left ’til last” and said he had a “major concern” for Muinebheag and other areas where “people had paid their property tax and were entitled to street lighting”.
Ken Boland, acting senior engineer with Kilkenny County Council, stated that the maintenance contract currently in place would continue and all issues of maintenance would continue with the current contractor. He expected the response time to issue would be significantly less and added that the project would be carried out “county by county, municipal district by municipal district”.
Mr Boland confirmed that the contractor would decide the programme of works, adding that achieving the savings immediately and minimising disruptions would be considerations.
Cllr Fintan Phelan quipped they should “start in alphabetical order”, while cllr Arthur McDonald asked that they “start with the darkest part of the county”.
Carlow County Council then unanimously agreed to the project.