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Formentera repairs outer cemetery walls

fossa-vell-pintades-21The Formentera Council is beginning work on the wall that encircles the Sant Francesc cemetery, known as el Fossar Vell. Crews brought in by the administration will paint over the political graffiti on the façade and then spread on limestone whitening solution to restore the edifice to its normal appearance.

Susana Labrador, the CiF's culture and patrimony councillor, made the announcement earlier today, encouraging islanders to “respect sites like this one that are part of a history and heritage which belongs to all of us”.

The cemetery is included in the Eivissa-Formentera bishopric and the Council looks after its maintenance in order to keep it in good condition and share this part of the island's history with residents. In fact, an arrangement between the bishopric and the Council allows the cemetery to remain open for public visits Tuesday to Saturday, 10.00am to 2.00pm.

El Fossar Vell, literally “the Old Burial Ground”, has been around since 1757 and was used until 1940. It is listed as a cultural interest site in the island's catalogue of historic monuments.

Road safety, environmental protection, child-first infrastructure and support for youth leisure among Consell d'Entitat priorities

foto-pressupostos-participatiu1The Consell d'Entitats, the island's league of associations, held its regular meeting yesterday evening at 8.00pm in the conference room of the CiF, next to the Centre de Dia. Among the items on the day's agenda was the third round of pressupostos participatius, or “participatory spending”, to involve islanders in decisions about which projects receive money from the administration.

Citizen participation councillor Sònia Cardona presented the results of the projects that were voted on by the 34 participating groups. The Council had set aside €325,000 to fund the five top projects and the first phase of the sixth on the list.

The following projects were selected, in this order:
1. Safety improvements at pedestrian crossings. Involves setting up sustainable lighting at crosswalks. With an estimated €40,000 price tag, this project was suggested by residents of es Caló.

2. Water fountains at local schools. Proposes putting a drinking fountain in each school so pupils can have access to water without having to use plastic bottles or drink processed refreshments. The AVIF-proposed initiative has an estimated cost of €10,000.

3. Improvements at la Savina children's park. Entails upgrading the gates around the park so toddlers at play can't get out without help from an adult. Upgrades to the rubber flooring and lighting are also planned, as well as switching out the pétanque area for a specialised area of park users' choosing. This improvements proposal was put forward by la Savina's neighbourhood association and would cost an estimated €50,000.

4. Youth leisure options
The initiative proposes specific measures, included in the island's strategic action plan for youth, to promote leisure. The APNEEF's proposal has an estimated €75,000 price tag.

5. Road closure and traffic redirecting to allow for unification of two Mestre Lluís Andreu schools
Envisions enlisting two metal gates at either end of the school to block vehicle traffic and link the two distinct areas. Mestre Lluís Andreu's parents' association came up with the proposal, which has been allocated €25,840.

6. Dustbins with separate recycling in towns
Only the first phase of this project will be programmed because its full implementation would push total spending into the red zone. This €175,000 project was proposed by es Caló's neighbourhood association and will receive any money left over after the first five are budgeted for.

Councillor Cardona drew attention to the diversity of groups behind the projects ultimately selected, pointing to “neighbourhood groups, parents' associations, groups working for social change”. She also highlighted the fact that this time around, the winning projects were those with smaller price tags. “These are initiatives that are important for a broad range of islanders”, she said, while declaring that the priorities—environment, youth, education and road safety—“are ones we can be proud of”.

Lastly, tax office councillor Bartomeu Escandell gave attendees a first-hand look at the projects on the horizon during the year ahead by unveiling the Formentera Council's 2019 budget.

Formentera reclaims la Mola lighthouse

foto-visita-remodelacio---far-2At noon today CiF chair Jaume Ferrer and Joan Gual de Torrella, the president of the Balearic port authority (APB), took a trip to la Mola to see the completed remodel of the lighthouse there. Also on hand were the CiF councillors of culture, tourism and the president's office, Susana Labrador, Bartomeu Escandell and Alejandra Ferrer, along with the project's architect, Marc Marí.

Work consisted in a preservation-oriented refit of the lighthouse's ground floor and façade, important elements of cultural heritage.

Chairman Ferrer welcomed the visit of the APB president and hailed the atmosphere of warm relations between the two entities that accompanied signature of a deal to give the Council control over management of the lighthouse. The CiF chair said the almost €800,000 remodel by Tragsa is part of an initiative to rebrand the lighthouse into a public cultural space.

Opening to the public
Ferrer also announced that on Saturday and Sunday every weekend in February, the lighthouse will host open days from 10.00 to 3.00pm so islanders and other interested visitors can come see the new space.

The APB president described the initiative as part of the strategy in the Balearics to restore public use to spaces left unoccupied since automation of maritime signals spelled the end of the faroner, or lighthouse keeper. And he saluted the Council on  “excellent work that gets where we want to go on enlivening spaces”.

Cultural venue
Culture department chief Susana Labrador said plans to fit la Mola's lighthouse with museum facilities are ready to go and put completion of the €136,000 project before next season.

Labrador said the ground floor of the Far de la Mola will have “an interpretative centre encompassing the island's other lighthouses, too, plus a focus on the island's relationship with the sea, fishing and migratory movements, not to mention audio, video and images that explore our island's maritime history”.

A multi-purpose space will host cultural programming like exhibits, concerts, conferences, recitals and small-scale theatre productions. The outdoor front patio has been readied for open-air cultural and educational events too, and inside there are a reception area, toilets and a storage space.

Two-way traffic resumes on la Savina road

foto-doble-sentit-carrer-del-c2The Formentera Council's mobility office reports that la Savina's carrer del Carme reopened to two-way vehicle traffic this morning, enabling entry and exit to the east end of the town's port and leaving Passeig de la Marina as an exclusively pedestrian area.

Carrer del Carme was a two-way road until it was equipped with “blue zone” parking spaces in 2015 and became one-way only. In addition to necessary traffic signage, new road surface markings were painted in yellow to signal the change; crews will repaint them white when work on the adjacent passeig, or promenade, is complete.

Balearic Port Authority is overseeing the second phase of the la Savina port's full remodel, which includes transforming removing car traffic from that part of the port and making Passeig de la Marina a pedestrian-only space from carrer del Vapor Manolito to carrer del Carme.

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