The Mayor of Estepona, José María García Urbano, recently met with members of Estepona’s foreign community at a forum organised by Areme, the local foreign residents’ association.
During the meeting the Mayor discussed the many improvements carried out in the town as well as future projects.
The audience were informed that the programme of remodeling in the old town continues with some 50 plus streets already completed, and a similar number in the planning. Of interest was the fact that the colour scheme, although appearing random, was actually voted by the residents of each street who chose which colour to be used in their particular street. Also where fruit trees have been planted, be it oranges or lemons they have used edible strains rather than the usual bitter oranges, so that local residents can use the fruit; he jokingly suggested that there should be a collection tin strapped to the bottom of each tree for donations!
The budget for each street is around 50,000 euros which is paid from available funds, with streets being completed as and when money was available. Being under 50,000 euros also enables the town hall to allocate the works to local firms, from a list of approved businesses, rather than be put out to tender which could see outside companies securing the contracts.
The Mayor also spoke about the impressive murals, which can be found on some of Estepona’s larger buildings, of which 15 have been completed. He went on to announce that they would shortly be running an international contest inviting artists from around the world to submit designs for a further ten murals with the winners being hosted in the town for a fifteen day, all expenses paid, visit at the end of August in return for them producing their artwork on the designated building.
A number of big projects are nearing completion such as the remodeled Recinto Ferial due to open on June 14 with a gala concert to which the public are invited; the Las Mesas Racquet and Fitness centre opening at the end of this month; and the town’s new state-of-the-art 600 seat theatre which will be ready at the end of September.
Two major developments due to start this year are the Pulmon Verde park and orchid house on the site of the old agricultural cooperative which is scheduled to begin in July with completion next February, and the Grand Boulevard which should be read in a couple of years.
The audience were then given the opportunity to ask questions with topics such as altering the bus route to take in the La Lobilla Health Centre, the situation regarding the maintenance of the park on the Seghers Urbanisation, and other topics of concern to the local residents.
The subject of the chiringuito construction works on the paseo in the centre of town was brought up. The Mayor replied that this was a private work approved by the Junta de Andalucia, and in which the local council had no say, although he did suggest that if it was up to him the works wouldn’t have received planning permission.
A question was also asked as to the future of the empty plot on the Paseo Maritimo where the old Prasa Hotel construction stood before it was demolished. The Mayor answered that the plot belonged to the BBVA bank from whom he is negotiating to purchase the site, as there is a project already on the drawing board to create Music Conservatory for the training of local musicians.
The Mayor rounded off the forum by thanking them for their support and also to remind them of the forthcoming European Elections on May 25 and encouraging them to exercise their right to vote, whichever party they chose.