By Bejay Browne
MAJOR upgrading works were launched in Paphos this week with the town’s mayor kicking off proceedings behind the controls of an excavator.
Mayor Phedonas Phedonos said: “The wintry weather for this city is over. Today is spring, the works began and the city is changing. Paphos will again become a proud city, a city of progress and development, a forward-looking city, and citizens will be able to dream and plan their future.”
He noted that the projects will also be a catalyst to encourage more private and public projects that will create jobs for the area.
A municipality spokesman confirmed that two of the town’s major infrastructure projects were launched and that they will radically change the image of the town and help to restart the local economy.
In June 2015, president Nicos Anastasiades announced 19 projects worth €60m for Paphos, which include the regeneration of the traditional shopping centre and Kennedy Square, the restoration of the municipal market and upgrading the Markideion theatre.
Other planned projects include connecting the squares of October 28, Kosti Palama and Dionysios Solomos (around the town hall), the expansion of the police station, an additional floor for the disctrict court, a project to link archaeological sites, the improvement of the archaeological museum, and the construction of breakwaters at a notoriously deadly stretch of coastline close to the Venus Beach hotel.
The mayor said that the current projects have a price tag of €8.3m and will include the upgrading of the squares of October 28, Dionysios Solomos and Kosti Palama. Also included in this phase is the upgrading of the traditional town center (Ktima) and Kennedy Square.
“These projects must adhere to a strict timetable and be completed by January 1, 2017, when Paphos will officially assume the title of Cultural Capital of Europe,” he said.
The mayor noted that there would be some disruption in the coming months due to the works and asked for people’s understanding for the inconvenience they may suffer.
He said: “Suffering is temporary, but the works are here to stay.”
Phedonos stressed that for the construction projects to run smoothly, hard work and cooperation with all of the relevant agencies will be required, and he also pointed out that there will be rigorous management of public funds.
The municipality, he added, would give the public regular updates every one or two months disseminating information relating to the ongoing works.