By Bejay Browne
THE PAPHOS sewerage board SAPA has rejected a formal request by Peyia council for a one-year delay on tax demands which are due at the end of the month.
Instead they have approved a two-month extension for related payments, according to local councillor Linda Leblanc.
The decision was made at Thursday night’s SAPA meeting.
Residents were up in arms over recent bills, as there was a lack of information made available about the cost of the new sewerage project, where it would take place and when, said Leblanc.
She said the SAPA board would now meet with Peyia council to give them a full briefing on the project.
“Maybe some of the council members are reluctant to go ahead but we need the infrastructure and we have no choice but to move forward,” she said.
Leblanc said residents and officials are fully aware that some sort of sewerage system must be built in line with EU directives, and work must get underway by 2016.
Peyia has been informed by the government that there is no possibility of an extension of the EU deadline or that it would be granted an exemption from the EU requirement.
Leblanc said there was speculation that other solutions could be found to solve the sewerage problem, but no concrete evidence was available to support any of the claims.
“I have mentioned to residents if they have concrete specifications about where such sewerage alternatives have been successfully initiated and are working well and are in line with EU requirements, I would examine them. But so far, nothing has been forthcoming,” she said.
The councillor noted that SAPA was rightly protecting itself from any future EU fines which might be imposed if a sewerage system isn’t up and running in the specified time frame. “If we try to undertake the work ourselves, then we will be responsible for any fines imposed,” she said.
“There are no practical or real options. Small sewage systems are not effective, they don’t work and would be far more expensive to try and do on our own. On a practical point, where would we put a large sewerage lagoon… next to Coral Bay?” she added.
Residents who wish to find out further information about the forthcoming scheme may attend a meeting of the Peyia Coalition on Monday March 31 at Paliomonastiro in Peyia.
Peyia’s Chief Engineer, Panteleis Pantelides, will explain the practicalities of the project and provide an update of the latest news.