5 March 2019
By Mary Bermingham
North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has welcomed the announcement that the maximum grant for to bore a new well or refurbishment works to an existing well will increase from €2,031 to €3,000. A new and additional provision is included for a maximum grant of €5,000 where a new well is required as an exceptional measure.
Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD, announced a new investment programme for water services in rural areas in February. The Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme is to run from 2019 to 2021.
The increase in the maximum grant for refurbishment works to a domestic well is a key feature of the new Programme. Cllr O’Shea said that the grant changes are planned to come into effect at the end of April 2019. Guidelines and revised application forms will be sent to local authorities before the changes take effect.
Cllr. O’Shea commented: “Raising the maximum grant for refurbishment works to €3,000 represents a 47% increase, which is very welcome. In cases where the local authority agrees that the most appropriate solution is to provide a new well, the maximum grant payable would be €5,000.”
Recognising the role of the grant in improving quality, the water quality treatment element (typically filtration and UV filtration) will qualify for 100% funding up to a maximum of €1,000. Up to 85% of other costs would be met, subject to the total combined maximum costs of €3,000 for well rehabilitation or €5,000 for a new well.
The qualifying age of a house before an application can be made is to remain at seven years. The period before a further application can be made is also remaining at seven years. As an additional feature, applicants would be permitted to make a second application if the maximum grant was not fully utilised within the seven-year period. This might include, for example, cases where some significant unforeseen or emergency issue arises after the first application.
A minimum grant threshold will remain – but will be raised from €635 to €750. The scheme is to continue to be demand-led, subject to an overall limit in funding to be determined annually under the multi-annual programme. The costs in 2018 were some €2.76 million. Provision of €4 million is being made for 2019.