By Bejay Browne
PEYIA Council has formally asked the Paphos sewerage board SAPA for a year’s delay on sewerage tax demands which are due to be paid at the end of March.
The council unanimously decided to ask SAPA for the freeze after local residents were up in arms over recent bills.
Peyia councilor Linda Leblanc noted that a letter to this effect was sent to the sewerage board yesterday morning.
“The arrival of the bills caused uproar, as there was a lack of information made available about the cost of the project, when it would take place and where. This caused much confusion,” she told the Cyprus Mail.
According to Leblanc, Peyia mayor Neofytos Akourshiotis invited councilors to submit written views on the matter at a council meeting two weeks ago.
“At Tuesday night’s meeting, we discussed the project. Personally, I believe a year’s extension may be too long, as we may then face consequences.”
The councilor pointed out that residents and officials are aware that some sort of sewerage system must be built, in line with EU directives, and work must get underway by 2016.
In addition, the council decided that public tenders for a new independent study be prepared to examine the current conditions and options available. The cost of the study will be covered by the municipality.
“This will give sufficient time to collect all of the relevant information on the proposed project, which may then be passed on to residents,” Leblanc said, adding: “A meeting will be arranged with the chief engineer, members of the council and the ministry of interior official who is responsible for sewerage to review the situation.”
The council also discussed information given to the mayor at a recent meeting with the environmental committee and the minister of agriculture. He was told there is no possibility of an extension of the EU deadline or that Peyia would be granted an exemption from the EU requirement.
The councilor noted that the request to freeze the tax in Peyia may be approved by the sewerage board.
She said: “Tala was granted a two year freeze on paying tax although they are not yet formally exempt from the scheme. These are two different scenarios though, as Peyia is a tourist town on the coast and the EU directive is aimed at protecting sensitive water areas.”