Naas overhead wires here to stay

THE cost of removing unsightly cables from the streets of Naas is likely to prove too expensive.

THE cost of removing unsightly cables from the streets of Naas is likely to prove too expensive.

The estimated cost of the work has been put at between €1.25m and €2.5m.

The utility wires, principally ESB lines, which criss-cross the streets, have been the subject of repeated criticism by Cllr. Seamie Moore, who wants them put under the ground.

He said a plan should be drawn up by the Naas Town Council – with a price estimate – to take down the wires.

But council officials are less enthusiastic. Town Clerk Ken Kavanagh described the task as a “multi million euro programme which would need the support of the utility companies, particularly the ESB, to implement.”

While the council had made an initial provision in the 2012 budget with the aim of building up the necessary funds to pay for the work, NTC does not have the financial means to do the work.

Cllr. Moore told a town council meeting that the ESB’s estimate of €2.5m was made 5-6 years ago but he felt this could figure could be halved in the current economic climate.

But Cllr. Darren Scully said he did not see how the quote could have changed that dramatically and the council did not have the money to fund the work.

He said that while NTC has €100,000 in its coffers under a ‘business and innovation’ heading a project of this kind could not come under that heading.

(The €100,000 has been set aside from commercial rates paid by the business people of Naas to encourage and promote business growth in the town as a response to the demand from traders for reductions in the rates they have to pay to the council every year.)

Town Engineer David Reel said the undergrounding of the wires would be a major job entailing the digging up of paths, insertion of ducts to hold the wires with spurs off to individual buildings.

Cllr. Moore was unimpressed by the lack of support.

Describing the poles as an “absolute horror”, Cllr. Moore said: “We’re an old fashioned town, a 1930’s town. Another town in the area is getting funding from LEADER to put wires under ground,” he asserted.