Dublin City Business Association should seek extreme weather insurance.

The question of a reduction in rates for city businesses affected by the weather and water was raised during the week. This caused some surprise because the city budget was voted through only six weeks ago. The suggestion was that because of water shortages following the burst pipe problem in the thaw after the freeze-ups, some businesses suffered especially through reduced custom in the hospitality sector – restaurants etc. From a business view point, this was compounded by the impact of the snow on city visits. DCC cleared the roads by not the on-street parking areas. Dublin bus, Dart and Luas performed terrifically during the period and must be commended as must the Civil Defense and the City Council staff -over 500 people. The army also had 100 soldiers involved who made sure that hospital staff got to work. Rates are a property tax. There can be no remission due to weather effects.

My suggestion at the City Council is that the Dublin Business Association or the Chamber of Commerce seek insurance cover against extreme natural events and the consequences for their businesses. I mean storms, hurricanes, snow, floods and shamefully for Ireland, maybe water shortages.

There are 2,400 kilometres of water pipes in Dublin City of which 800 kilometers are more than 100 years old. So they leak! Quel surprise! The replacement cost is €400,000 to €500,000 per km so it is an expensive undertaking to deal with the problem. It will have to be done on a rolling basis over 10 years in association with water metering. Water wastage from leaks is much higher in the city than in Fingal or south Dublin because of the age of development. published figures are Dublin City 36%, Fingal County Council 21.61%, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council 29%, South Dublin 19.79%, Wicklow 31.34% Kildare 26.37% Cork City 52.93%, Cork County 44.4%, Galway City 49.12%, Galway County 49.46%.

Areas of Dublin such as Inchicore were not turned off because it might have been very difficult to get the area covered again.