Cost of running Market Square fountain queried

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Over €53,000 of taxpayers’ money has been spent on maintaining the fountain feature at the Market Square, The Dundalk Democrat can reveal.

Over €53,000 of taxpayers’ money has been spent on maintaining the fountain feature at the Market Square, The Dundalk Democrat can reveal.

In response to questions put to the Louth County Council by this newspaper , the council revealed that the maintenance contract for the fountain costs €361 per week.

Based on the fact that the fountain was launched in December 2011, a total of 149 weeks has passed resulting in a bill of €53,789.

The council stated that Fountainworks based in Navan, Co Meath, is the company that hold the maintenance contract.

Some councillors have raised concerns regarding the maintenance costs.

Cllr Tomas Sharkey said that it was “a lot of money” for water and electricity.

“It seems a lot for water and electricity,” Cllr Sharkey told The Democrat.

“The council have made stupid decisions down through the years. Unfortunately, we can’t fix dumb.”

Cllr Conor Keelan told the paper that he has concerns regarding the costs.

“These things will be kept on renewal,” said Cllr Keelan, “Maybe a reform of the costs involved is needed.”

Cllr Maeve Yore believes that €361 per week is not value for money, adding that she would be looking into the matter.

Cllr Marianne Butler told the paper that it seems “an awful lot of money”.

Cllr Marie Doyle said that she would be looking at the tender process of council works, adding that she would would raise the issue at the next Dundalk Municipal District meeting.

Cllr Edel Corrigan said that the council should look into taking over the responsibility of maintaining the fountain once the contract has ended.

A council spokesperson said “the elected council members when tasked with providing a vision for a revitalised Market Square ensured that a new fountain would be a center piece for the new-look square.”

“The fountain provides a fully automated and programmable water display of 25 individual nozzles giving a limitless range of water jet and lighting effects.

“Produced in Ireland, using the highest quality materials, the system can be sequenced to create a dazzling range of displays.

“During peak periods, such as lunchtime, early evenings and weekends, the fountain is programmed to take on an interactive show function, with a range of alternating jet heights and colour combinations.

“Specific colour themes have been programmed for calendar events, as recently as the GIRO go pink display , green for St Patrick’s Day and red and

white for Christmas.”