The St Francis pothole repair project plans to raise money to fix as many of the potholes in St Francis streets as possible before the December holidays.
“Right now our roads are not safe,” Nigel Aitken, project manager of the repair project, says in an open letter to the community. “The deterioration to this important infrastructure is evident and will definitely impact negatively on property values and any future development. Tourism will also be affected negatively.”
In his letter Aitken thanks all businesses who have already pledged support and for encouragement received for the Milkwood Save our Roads campaign, in particular the St Francis Village Superspar (R30 000), The Links (R10 000 plus labour and equipment) and Ferdi Dippenaar (R10 000).
Aitken says this short term project is in no way intended to relieve Kouga Council of its responsibility to repair and maintain roads. “The concerns of many who feel it’s wrong to let the Council ‘off the hook’ on this matter is noted and we fully sympathise with this sentiment. We do pay rates which should be used for this purpose. This situation exists all over the country and many other communities have already begun ‘helping themselves’.”
He points out estimated costs of repairing the road network presently far outstrip funds the Council has at its disposal. “Council is currently trying to conduct temporary repairs using earth and stone, which is actually leading to further deterioration of the roads.
“If the roads are not repaired properly many of them will soon be beyond repair. One expert has indicated certain roads in Santareme could have already reached this point.”
He says the Council has confirmed it’s supportive of an initiative to help it over this hurdle and is willing to provide labour and equipment. “This is important as it will mean indemnity remains with the Council.”
Aitken advises the St Francis Bay Residents Association has pledged its support in principal. It has been made clear to Council that this is a private residents’ initiative, originated by The Milkwood, to react to an emergency. It by no means constitutes an agreement by the residents to accept future responsibility for the repair and maintenance of the St Francis roads.
The repair team plans to repair potholes in the Village Centre today as a model or demonstration of its work. (See: https://stfrancischronicle.com/2011/08/04/how-st-francis-potholes-can-be-brought-under-control/ )
Aitken advises those who wish to support the pothole project that they can pledge their support through the Milkwood. A bank account dedicated to the project will soon be opened, details of which will be published widely.
He stresses the amount of repair work conducted will be directly related to the amount of funding received. Main arterial roads will take priority such asSt Francis Drive,Lyme Road Southand Taragona. Thereafter roads used by tourists to access the beach and canals or river will take priority and then the lesser used roads – as funds permit.
Ending off his letter Aitken says he welcomes feedback to: cell: 082 465 3719; email: email@example.com
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