Limassol to get new projects worth € 124.7 mln
President Nicos Anastasiades announced a host of infrastructure projects worth EUR 124.7 mln in his home town of Limassol, saying that after 26 months in government and having achieved a turnaround in the economy, Cyprus has returned to the markets and can now borrow at a rate of 3.5%, as opposed to 15% when the crisis first broke.
This follows similar declarations in Paphos and Nicosia over the past two months worth EUR 60 mln and EUR 174 mln, respectively.
Chairing a wide-scale meeting of six members of his cabinet and mayors from the Limassol district, Anastasiades said that now is the time to invest in mature projects, or those that have been approved but could not be funded due to limitations imposed by the EUR 10 bln bailout deal in March 2013.
Repeating his policy of reducing unemployment and boosting development and growth, the President said that Limassol has already benefitted from projects worth EUR 47.5 mln during the present administration, while others worth EUR 134 mln are already underway or will begin by the end of the year.
These include dredging Limassol port further and expanding the docksides (EUR 46 mln), a new road leading to Limassol port (EUR 7.1 mln), refuse collection centre (EUR 52 mln), water supply to Limassol rural areas from the Episkopi desalination plant (EUR 13.3 mln), while by autumn the port will see a new passenger terminal of 7,500 sq.m.
His new measures include a football stadium for the three local clubs of AEL, Apollon and Aris (EUR 20 mln), new roads worth EUR 25.3 mln, new schools and other works of EUR 14.6 mln.
In Kato Polemidia, the abandoned Berengaria barracks will be cleared (EUR 9.5 mln), Yermasoyia will get road works and wave breakers worth EUR 3.8 mln and a 10-year grace period on past loans, Ayios Athanasios will benefit from EUR 825,000 of road works and Ypsonas with a further EUR 1.5 mln, while rural areas will see new school, road works and sewerage network improvements.
Other public projects include a new fire station in Limassol (EUR 5.8 mln), a TB Centre (tuberculosis) at Kyperounda hospital (EUR 1.2 mln), a waste water treatment plant west of Limassol (EUR 36.7 mln), a household and industrial waste treatment centre in Vati (EUR 4.7 mln) and solid waste treatment along the ‘hotel strip’ (EUR 2 mln).
The President added that within the year, the new ambulance centre will be operational, municipal housing and roads in the Mishaouli and Kavazoglou area will be restored, the municipal kindergarten in Mesa Yitonia will receive aid, the derelict farming units in Kato Polemidhia will be cleared, pavements and cycle paths will be built in Ayios Athanasios and Yermasoyia, and cash-strapped communities will start repaying their street lighting bills to the EAC over 36 monthly instalments.
Anastasiades added that as part of the municipal reform plans, a universal property tax of 0.1% will be imposed, but not collected by local administration that will receive a grant of EUR 15 mln. However, the plan is to return the tax collection authority to local councils once the reform and restructuring of all municipalities has been completed.
He concluded that the District Officer has been tasked with a supervisory role to ensure speedy procedures and transparency in public projects and procurement.