A Waterford TD says the Office of Public Works has questions to answer after it emerged that over €390,000 has been paid for a warehouse in Waterford, which has been empty for 12 years.
The property at Units 4 and 4a on the Tramore Road was leased by the OPW at an annual cost of €32,505 and occupied by Customs and Excise in 2000.
It was vacated by Customs and Excise in 2005.
Waterford Sinn Fein TD David Cullinane says it has been empty since – and will have cost the taxpayer almost half a million by the time the lease runs out in 2020.
The OPW say they sought other State occupiers for the storage facility but there was no demand in that area. The Landlord was asked to accept an early surrender of the premises however he refused.
David Cullinane says questions must be answered about what efforts were made. He says Waterford City and County Council were not offered the building:
“If they were not offered the property, who else was not offered it? It’s just unacceptable that a public body can sit on vacant sites, not use them, not explore options in terms of finding tenants…and then costing the taxpayer up to €500,000….a significant amount of taxpayers money, which in my view has now been wasted.”