The present Oweninny Board, set up by Mayo County Council, that operates and manages the Oweninny Windfarm Community Benefit Fund, should be the board in charge of the distribution of funds from any new, Renewable electricity Support Scheme (RESS).
That’s the view of the elected members of Mayo County Council. At the monthly meeting of Mayo County Council earlier this week, councillors unanimously supported a motion by councillor Michael Loftus, proposing that Mayo County Council makes a formal submission to the Ministerfor the Environment asking for that to happen.
The communities affected by the extensive three phase development of windfarms in north Mayo at Oweninny, includes areas of Bangor, Keenagh, Moygownagh and Crossmolina.
Approximately a million euro a year looks set to be invested into local community projects in the region for the next 25 years through the Community Benefit Fund, accumulating to an estimated total of 28 million euro.
Councillor Loftus believes that at present the developers of such projects often have too a big a say in how the community benefit fund is spent, and is insisting that local people know best what they require. Therefore, Mayo county councillors want the present Oweninny Windfarm Community Benefit Board to be responsible for the distribution locally of any new funding schemes introduced.
Crossmolina based cllr Loftus has been telling Midwest News why Mayo County Councillors want the local authority to make a formal submission on the matter to Minister Eamon Ryan.