Special council meeting to discuss weather response and cost

As Donegal County Council and the government's Emergency Response Committee reiterate the need to conserve water, the way the council dealt with the severe weather is to be discussed at a special council meeting on Friday.

The meeting will see officials brief councillors on how much was done, and what the cost of the work will be.

This special meeting of council has been call to present members with a comprehensive report on all the services provided by the Council since the start of the severe weather conditions, and to discuss plans for dealing with any possible further periods of severe weather, as well as dealing with all infrastructural damage arising from the severe weather conditions.

However, possibly the most difficult element of the meeting will be a review of the full costs of the services provided and the consequential impacts on the 2010 Budget.

The wintry conditions which are only now beginning to abate actually began the night before the council's budget meeting in December, and the cost of gritting and clearing roads on a daily basis since then will eat substantially into the authority's road maintenance budget, having clearly gone far beyond the expectations of the budget document.

The costs of the past three weeks will have ramifications that stretch far beyond the winter.