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Action plan set in motion for local roads, public car parks

brigada caminsA review of roads and public parking areas, commissioned after heavy storms drenched the island December 18 and 19 and left local roads damaged, will serve as the basis for action by the Formentera Council's Office of Infrastructure. The administration's roads crew is presently carrying out the most urgent of the improvements, with completion projected for the close of January.

According to CiF infrastructure councillor Rafael González, “work will focus on roughly fifteen of the worst-off arterials –among them the road linking Porto-salè and cala Saona, the path to Torrent de s'Alga and public car parks in Sant Francesc– all of which were battered by a combination of immoderate quantity, speed and force of rainfall.”

Nineteen complaints about the state of roads have been received by the Citizen's Information Office (OAC) in the wake of the December downpours. Once the current improvements are complete, said González, “the roads brigade will resume its routine maintenance of Formentera's dirt roads”.

Formentera pupils sketch their grandparents

Entrega premis concurs dibuix 2016 1At 11.30 this morning, the vice-president and education councillor of the Formentera Council, Susana Labrador, together with the administration's social welfare and youth services councillor, Vanessa Parellada, met at the Formentera Day Centre to attend the awards ceremony for a drawing contest. “Els meus avis” (“My grandparents”) was organised by the Council as part of the celebration behind Universal Children's Day. Users of the Day Centre were in charge of handing out prizes to six winning school children and two others who received honourable mention. All were given a 50-euro voucher, to be used either on educational or sports supplies according to the youngsters' preference.

The contest boasted participation from a total of 500 students from across Formentera's schools. One hundred fifty drawings were selected and will be displayed at the Day Centre entrance through February. On the jury sat professionals and Day Centre users alike. This year has been the second that the administration organises the drawing contest. As part of this year's theme, participants were asked to depict their grandparents.

Formentera to christen new plenary hall

foto consell premsaIn accordance with a proposal unanimously adopted during plenary debate on the state of the island last year, the president's office of the Formentera Council has announced that the administration no longer hold plenary sessions in the hall used heretofore and located in the Council's central offices at Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució. Instead, forthcoming meetings will take place in the so-called Màgic Box, next to the Formentera Day Centre.

Updates in access and IT
The change is associated with several improvements, like wheelchair-accessibility and three reduced-mobility parking spaces  at the adjacent car park. Capacity at the new hall is for some 60 audience members.

There are also technical improvements associated with the location swap. In addition to a recording system allowing video and audio of proceedings at the Màgic Box, members of the press will have access to IT and electricity plugs.

Likewise, new furniture will provide personal network connections and power plugs for the administration's 17 councillors and one member of parliament. Individual microphones will also be included at each official's seat for debate sessions.

Work at the site is already under way and it is projected that the first plenary of 2017 will be held there. The project has a cost of approximately 55,000 euros.

Crews set out spreading garden clippings across Formentera countryside

biotrituradora restes podaThe Formentera Council's environment department will start hauling away one thousand cubic metres of garden clippings from a staging area located beside Es Cap de Barbaria's waste treatment plant. The repurposed waste will not only filter organic nutrients into Formentera fields; it will also bolster the capacity of the land to hold water, noted environment secretary Daisee Aguilera.

The clippings will be dispatched across the island between 8.00am and 1.00pm and again from 3.00pm to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. The three firms assisting in transport—Foreva, Formentera Trucks and Transports Formentera— will take advantage of return journeys on trips to the treatment plant to haul away loads and deliver them to interested parties across the island. Beneficiaries of the service will pay based on the amount of clippings they wish to receive—€15 for 5m3, €20 for 8m3, €25 for 14m3 and €35 for 20m3. Islanders should contact the environment office (àrea de Medi Ambient, 971 32 12 10) or one of the freight companies directly.

Recycling organic waste
The purpose of the initiative is to give islanders who work the land a way to enrich soil and boost its capacity for water retention. Singling out farmers as the group potentially most interested in the initiative, Aguilera said reusing biowaste could increase crop yield, save water for irrigation and help complete the cycle of waste production and management. According to the secretary, the material is also effective for mulching, a technique consisting in covering the base of plants in order, among other benefits, to trap in moisture and prevent weeds.

The effort will help free up the Es Cap de Barbaria staging area for other uses, such as a compost pile. Started with material extracted from the sewage treatment plant, compost would be one way to generate nutrient-rich earth that could be cycled back into the local eco-system. Gardening scraps were chipped with a “biochipper” purchased by the Formentera Council with help from the EU's Leader fund. The administration owns two smaller chippers which it loans to islanders free of charge so they can shred green trimmings generated at home. The service can be requested at the Citizen's Information Office (OAC) or by contacting the environment office.

Three Kings of the East fill island of Formentera with magic

reis mags 2017 formentera 68At just past 5.00pm today, the Three Wise Men of the East pulled up to the port of la Savina. The Kings, with an entourage that included pages, a royal committee, Formentera Council vice-president and cultural councillor Susana Labrador and infrastructure and transport councillor Rafael González, were met by crowds of anxious children that had come to greet them at the port. Afterwards the Three Kings mounted their decorated carriages and set off on a tour of the island's main towns.

On the heels of their stop in la Savina the cavalcade headed up the highway, arriving in Sant Francesc shortly after 6.00pm. The party made its way into town via carrer Jaume I, towards plaça de la Constitució. Once there, their Majesties stopped in at the Sant Francesc Xavier church. Afterwards, they made an appearance on the balcony of the Formentera Council, where they were welcomed by a cabal of administration officials headed up by Vice-president Labrador. In a speech before the crowds gathered below, Labrador called on all of Formentera to “remain united as we tackle the challenges that this year may hold”.

At approximately 7.00pm the Kings will once again take up the reins and head down the highway towards Sant Ferran, where, besides the waiting throngs of children and adults, they are awaited by CiF land and tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer and Councillor González. The royal committee will then enter the church to revere the baby Jesus. All those hoping to meet the Magi can do so in the festival tent which occupies the church plaza, where boys and girls from Sant Ferran will also be able to pick up gifts.

Nearing 8.30pm, again by way of the main highway, the cavalcade will continue in the direction of la Mola. There, they will descend the central arterial towards el Pilar church, where gifts will be distributed to the eagerly awaiting children of that town. Co-vice-president and tax office councillor Bartomeu Escandell will also join them throughout the remainder of the evening's festivities.

Kids in Sant Francesc must wait until tomorrow to receive their gifts from the Wise Men. That ceremony will take place at the town's religious school –“Ca ses Monjes”– on the heels of the Epiphany mass scheduled for 11.00am at the Sant Francesc Xavier church.

Accompanying entertainment
The members of the royal party aren't the only ones touring Formentera. This year, while young and old awaited the Three Kings and company, a percussion group staged live shows thirty minutes before the cavalcade's appearances in la Savina, Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran. With more than six years of history, Taxek is known for performances which showcase Afro-Latin beats, choreography and a brand of entertainment that has earned the group numerous awards and accolades.

Once again, the Three Kings have embarked on an epic journey to bring joy and magic to our streets and gifts to our people. The Formentera Council wishes to thank everyone who has made the cavalcade's 2017 stopover possible: volunteers, the Formentera Three Kings' association, the island's youth centre, Quintanilla and Formentera carpenter's shops, Trasmapi, Fundació Baleària, Pitiüsa Sud, Frutos Secos Ibiza, Carbónicas Tur and the staff of our local council.

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