Caroline Moran – a development officer from Westmeath Community Development, outlined the funding options available for the group. Locally run enhancement projects which could include planting of trees and flowers, installation of furniture and repairs to public property – can be funded to the value of 75% of cost. Should the group appoint a consultant to draw up a 3 year plan, WCD would fund up to 90% of the consultancy bill.
There was considerable scepticism expressed by some attendees towards the idea of a 3 year plan given that other plans developed for the village have not amounted to anything!
Caroline advised that she had also spoken with representatives from Westmeath County Council to see if there would be any council funding available to support works. Senior Engineer, PJ Carey advised that he would investigate while Cllr. Frank McDermot claimed that “a fortune” had already been spent on the village in recent years.
Mr McDermot’s reported remarks were not received well by several who recalled his personal pledge in 2008 regarding a €750,000 enhancement that was to be delivered in 2009 but which never materialised. As an aside, Mr McDermott was emailed for clarification of his remark but no response has been received.
It was agreed that the Committee would manage any enhancements locally rather than seek the services of a consultant and be subject to further costs. Any money raised in Delvin will be spent on improving the village and the 75% grant will be sought to assist with this work.
Eamonn and Mick will assess St Mary’s Church with a view to beginning work on clearing the grounds. It is envisaged that the work will be done in phases.
The owner of a damaged boundary leading in to the village on the Mullingar approach has expressed her intention and interest in having the wall repaired and sought advice from the meeting attendees as to how she should proceed. The news was warmly received and every possible assistance will be given to her and any other boundary wall owners looking to make repairs and to help improve this important access to our village.
The owner of the old post office will be contacted again and asked when the works he promised to undertake will be carried out.
The derelict cottages at the northern end of the main street will have a mural painted on them as soon as funds allow. This should improve the appearance of the street.
Concern was expressed over the general state of the cattle mart. The boundary wall is unattractive and the grounds are covered in litter and debris. It is hoped that the owner will address the state of his property in light of all the work that has been done by others to help improve the appearance of Delvin.
The grounds surrounding the Garda barracks are still in urgent need of attention. It was reported that the local sergeant was still waiting for authorisation to instruct a local gardener to carry out the work.
Dog owners are again reminded that their pets must not be allowed to roam unattended as they are fouling footpaths. Not only is this unpleasant but it causes a health hazard and is illegal!
The church gate collection will take place on the 9th & 10th July. Further fund raisers were also discussed and these will include a table quiz in October and a card night in November. Please support the collections and any subsequent fund raisers as the funds raised will help the campaign grow in 2012.
Due to summer holidays, no date was set for the next meeting but litter picks will continue every Monday evening.