€100,000 for the design of new lifeboat berth in Buncrana
A QUARTER of a million euro will be spent by Donegal County Council on consultants for two marine projects in Inishowen next year.
€100,000 has been allocated for consultants to design a new lifeboat berth in Buncrana and a further €150,000 will be spent on consultants to repair quay walls in Greencastle and Burtonport, according to the Council’s capital expenditure plan.
Rising the issue at the monthly meeting of the Council in Lifford on Monday, Burnfoot councillor John Ryan said it was a massive amount of money to spend on consultancy fees alone. He asked if the Council did not have ‘in-house expertise’ that could carry out the work instead of employing outside consultants.
Similarly Culdaff councillor Bernard McGuinness queried whether the Council could set up its own Department to save money in future.
Meanwhile Burnfoot Councillor Jack Murray asked for a breakdown of what work the consultants carried out, adding that it was a ‘huge amount of money’.
Council Chief Executive Seamus Neeley said they always try and use in-house staff to carry out this type of work, but that these particular jobs required specialised knowledge.
He said the overall cost of consultants over the course of the year for Donegal County Council is low.
“We follow the principle that if it can be done in-house it will,” said Mr. Neeley. “That principle is reflected in our overall costings for consultants over the last number of years. In this case we need very specific consultancy work regarding the marine nature and environment of the project. We needed specialised equipment and knowledge that we didn’t have in house,” added the Chief Executive.
Mr. Neeley said the work was done in conjunction with the RNLI and it involved doing specialised work to the sea bed.