Council is set to spend £225,000 to upgrade the Parks Nursery at Newmills Road in Coleraine.
An audit of the facility identified a number of deficiencies at the depot, which was the hub for all the floral and horticultural requirements of the former Coleraine Borough Council.
The work is required to meet health and safety responsibilities, but will also see the depot expanding to take in the needs of the other legacy Councils - Ballymoney, Moyle and Limavady.
Members attending last Tuesday night’s Environmental Services Committee were informed that the upgrade would result in more ‘in house production’ in that it would save Council in the region of £17,000 per year.
DUP councillor George Duddy welcomed the upgrade.
He proposed that Council accept the recommendation to progress to stage two of the project.
Councillor Duddy asked if there was any possibility that unused plants could be sold to the public. Director of Environmental Services, Aidan McPeak replied to councillor Duddy saying that it ‘may be a possibility’.
PUP councillor Russell Watton pointed out that the site had been in existence for some 30 years.
He congratulated the officers on the detail of the upgrade, and the fact that it will save Council money in the long run. He seconded DUP councillor Duddy’s proposal.
This was agreed by all members.
At the same meeting, members also agreed to progress with a upgrade at Coleraine Marina.A condition survey revealed a number of defects at the facility.
A recommendation to progress to stage of the project was agreed by members.
DUP councillor George Duddy asked if fees would be increased for boat owners after the work had been carried out. Council officer John Richardson told members that the net profit from the marina was just over £2,5000 per year, he said that councillor Duddy’s point about increasing fees was ‘valid’.
Mr Richardson told members that as part of the upgrade the river would be dredged. He described the dredging as an ‘on going’ cost.
Responding to a question from councillor Duddy about how often the area would need to be dredged, Mr Richardson pointed out that Council would need to be ‘more pro active’, and that although it had been ten years since the last dredging, he felt that possibly eight years would have been a better time frame.