Staggering €221k paid by council to maintain historic city buildings
Dublin City Council forked out a staggering €221,552 last year on refurbishment works for City Hall and the Mansion House, which included costs for carpet cleaning and storing paintings, the Herald can reveal.
The largest amount spent was €76,402 on work to the roof of the Oak Room in the Mansion House.
The council said that this was essential re-roofing of a flat roof. It said the existing roof condition was considered a leak risk, and the work included a like-for-like replacement of large timber roof lights, which were not suitable for repair. It said that tenders had been requested from five contractors.
The expenditure has been laid bare in new information released under the Freedom of Information Act, which shows that spending on City Hall last year was €66,456, with another €23,663 spent on the City Hall exhibition area.
Figures show that the bill for the Mansion House was substantially higher, at €131,433.
The council provided a breakdown of the work which was carried out on the two historical buildings.
Works were carried out across two floors in City Hall.
The biggest outlay was on scaffolding, labour and electrical costs for the repair of the supper room ceiling, costing €28,021.
Carpet cleaning was required in two large rooms in City Hall following the ceiling repairs at a cost of €306.45.
The storage of paintings during these repairs cost €3,763.80.
Some 14 different works were carried out in City Hall last year. New tables for the supper room saw €578.10 being spent.
The installation of new HD monitors in the council chamber cost nearly €8,000, while the repair of chairs in the party rooms cost €1,021.50.
The upgrade of the council chamber's audio visual system saw €310.11 being shelled out.
Commenting on the expenditure, Independent councillor Mannix Flynn said he believed that a "robust evaluation" of how these monies were being spent was required to ensure good value for money.
"While this money is being spent on historic buildings, on the other hand people living in council housing stock are having to wait long periods of time for basic repairs such as getting their windows fixed," he said.
"There are people living in homes in need of significant upgrading."
Cllr Flynn pointed out that City Hall had managed to generate some income through hosting civic weddings, and he believed that there should be a look at new and innovative ways to generate income streams.