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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Infrastructures and services

Formentera works to ensure safe access to nursery and municipal sports pitch

Foto cami segur cami vell1The Formentera Council's mobility office is overseeing a series of upgrades conceived to make Camí Vell de la Mola safer between Sant Francesc and the public buildings that house the nursery and the municipal sports pitch. The €15,000 project will be finished by November 30.

The project entails the creation of two lanes for pedestrians and cyclists, one on either side of the road, a change that mobility secretary Rafael González explained was primarily about safety. The breadth of the road —five metres— will remain unchanged, though it will be split in three: one 3-metre-wide lane for vehicle traffic and two lanes (at least 1 metre across) for people on foot or on two wheels.

Something else that remains untouched on the thoroughfare is two-way vehicle traffic, though the speed limit will drop to 30K/hour and signage will be posted to give walkers and bike riders priority. González says that under the new system, “when two vehicles cross paths, one must yield to the other, without disturbing foot or bicycle traffic,” two groups the secretary assured would always have priority.

Obtaining islanders' buy-in
The measure aims to “promote walking and cycling as an alternative to car travel” and “encourage people setting out from Sant Francesc,” —a mere 900 metres from the nursery and sports pitch, he noted— “to consider making the journey on foot, particularly since so many who visit the facilities are children for sport-related activities”. The most recent mobility study, conducted in August and October of this year, counted a high of 94 cyclists and 12 pedestrians in a three-hour period.

The upgrades are part of a pledge by the administration's senior councillors and the socialist party, PSOE, in the most recent 2017 budgets.

Upgrades start at la Mola's church square

Foto obres placa la molaYesterday at 7.00pm neighbours in la Mola gathered in Casa del Poble to hear about the nearby projects in the works in the months ahead. The president of the Formentera Council, together with the rest of the administration's cabinet of senior councillors, detailed the plans for upgrades on the town square and took stock of the bids to rebrand la Mola's lighthouse as a cultural centre and revamp a local thoroughfare, carrer Àngela Ferrer.

Infrastructure secretary Rafael González reported that today would see the start of construction at the plaça de l'Església (“church square”). Rather than modify the overall look of things, González said the changes would include new pavement, lighting and dry stone walls. The upgrades will cost €50,000 and must be completed in one month.

González also held up improvements scheduled on carrer Àngela Ferrer for early 2018, an effort he said would include burying overhead utility cables and street upgrades. Council staff will benefit from outside assistance in overseeing the project, whose final budgeting is pending the go-ahead from Gesa and Telefónica to bury utility lines.

La Mola lighthouse
The Council's deputy chairwoman and culture secretary, Susana Labrador, gave details about the project to makeover the far (lighthouse) in la Mola. Plans entail reforming the lighthouse's ground floor and entrance in an effort Labrador said was aimed at turning the monument into “a bastion of culture”.

In addition to an interpretative centre for la Mola's and other lighthouses on Formentera, the revamped ground floor will house a museographic collection on the local maritime patrimony and a multipurpose space for cultural events like exhibitions, concerts, conferences, recitals and stage productions. In addition to a welcome area, toilets and storage spaces, the lighthouse will feature, at its entrance, a patio for open-air events both cultural and educational in nature.

The order to execute the €765,550 project will be made when members of the Council meet in plenary this Friday. Crews will begin work in December and have nine months to conclude. The remodel is possible thanks to an easement agreement between the administration and the Balearic port authority.

Formentera's water service launches web portal

web formentera aqualiaThe Formentera Council, in partnership with the concession-holder on water supply and sewage services, Aqualia, encourage residents to check out the company's latest tool in communicating with islanders:  http://www.aqualia.com/ca/web/aqualia-formentera.

With the new site, which is designed to be responsive and enable automatic compatibility with all manner of devices (mobile, tablet and computer), the water company hopes to give customers a direct point of contact where they can locate their office, learn about service changes on the island, visit Aqualia Online's virtual office for customer service issues and get informed about Formentera's municipal water service.

Web content on the site is available in Spanish and Catalán. Download the Smart Aqua app, go paperless with online bill pay, find out about current rates...those are just some of the things customers can do from the site's home screen.

Plus, in the “Actualitat” (“what's new”) section, residents can get all the latest news about the local water service.

The site is AENOR-certified for level AA accessibility (UNEIX 139803:2004).

With all the information you need about waterworks on the island, the site is just one of the ways Aqualia works to satisfy customers, adapting their service to customers' needs and changing technologies. It is a modern service designed for transparency and efficiency, they said.

Special service to inform renters of benefits rights

Foto oac atencio al publicTo 21 September the administration's Citizen Information Office is offering islanders an information and help service to determine eligibility for the Govern balear's latest round of housing benefits. Renters are encouraged to visit the office (or OAC, for its initials in Catalan) for complete details about application conditions.

Locals have two days a week to present their applications at the Formentera branch of the regional housing authority (IBAVI), and officials hope the OAC's advisory service will simplify that process. The Govern balear tapped into their coffers to unlock the money for Eivissa and Formentera residents, who can request assistance if their monthly housing costs are between €600 and €800.

The deadline for requests is 21 September and complete application details can be found online at www.habitatge.caib.es or by phoning 900 780 000. The dwelling referred to when applying should be the applicant's regular place of residence, and claimants—necessarily residents of the Balearic Islands—must earn €22,365 or less per household to apply. Beneficiaries of the money are eligible for assistance of up to 40% of their monthly rent.

The benefits cover rent that falls due January to December 2017; payments already made since January will be reimbursed retroactively. The OAC is open Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 2.00pm and Thursday afternoons 4.00pm to 6.00pm.

Glitch at Es Pujols pump repaired

Foto passeig maritim es pujolsInfrastructure secretary Rafael González and staffer Xico Ribas met today on Es Pujols's waterfront promenade with Carlos Tur, president of the town's neighbourhood association, to take stock of repairs on one of a pair of pumps at the sewage station there.

Officials at ABAQUA, which manages the station, said a malfunctioning pump was behind weekend leaks of raw sewage at Es Pujols's Passeig Marítim. “The Council's cleaning crews were on the scene from the outset to minimise disruptions,” explained Councillor González, who also highlighted the administration's contact with ABAQUA and area residents in tackling the problem.

According to the local infrastructure head, crews reported a technical glitch at the pump station had been fixed by Monday morning, when the Council sent in a special brigade to finalise cleanup. Addressing residents, local tradespeople and tourists, González said, “We regret the inconveniences caused by an incident of this sort in the heart of summer and hope it doesn't recur”.

González called to mind this winter's overhaul of the sewage system in Es Pujols's town centre which separated storm water from sewage. He asserted the lack of any connection between that project and the current incident.

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