By Bejay Browne
THE mayor of Paphos gave an overview of ten major infrastructure and development projects currently underway in Paphos to a packed audience in the town on Tuesday evening.
Talking to the 500 strong crowd at PaliaIlektriki cultural centre, Phedonas Phedonos also included a detailed report on the implementation of budgets and schedules.
The mayor said that the ten infrastructure projects will have a total cost of 26.2 million euros and will be completed in time for 2017, when Paphos will take over the Culture Capital of Europe title.
The main upgrading projects, he said, are all on track to be completed by the end of the year, or at the beginning of 2017, and include: the redevelopment of the town’s traditional centre (Ktima) and Kennedy Square – a total cost of 5.2 million euros.
Also being upgraded are October 28, Dionysios Solomos and Kosti Palama squares – at a total cost of 3.1 million euros.
The mayor said that a remodelling project costing 2.3 million euros is underway in Mouttalos, while the renovation of the former ‘Attica’ cinema will see it converted into a multi culture and conference tourism venue at a total cost of 1.2 million euros.
The Markideiou Theatre is also being upgraded at a cost of 2.9 million euros, with a completion date of February 2017, as is the area in the Hani of Ibrahim at the centre of Paphos. This will cost 2.4 million euros and be finished by the end of the year.
The work to connect the archaeological sites of Kato Paphos, will cost of 2.8 million euros and be completed by February 2017, he said.
The project to upgrade the municipal market comes with a 2 million euro price tag and will be completed in March 2017.
The Paphos Mayor also presented a comprehensive package of other projects which are expected to start at the end of 2016 or early 2017, including upgrading of roads, parks and the northwest beach front.
Other plans include a new police station, improving the archaeological museum, renovation of the lighthouse and the extension of the court building.
Referring to the long list of Paphos corruption scandals that he has done much to make public in recent months, the mayor repeated his pledge for clean, transparent local government.
“We must fight to successfully meet the challenges of the times and create the conditions for a safe and orderly restart of the local economy, free from the errors and omissions of the past, from the unacceptable phenomena of rot and corruption that led Paphos to the brink of destruction,” he said.
“As mayor of Paphos, and as a young man who loves and cares about Paphos, my aim is to get rid of the chains of the past. Paphos can become a model of good governance and serve as an example of proper service of the public.”
He also announced the municipality’s intention to “activate participatory democracy for the first time in Paphos” by conducting a referendum on the renaming of a square in the town centre, currently called Kennedy Square.
“The work will be completed in a few months and will seal Paphos’ image for the 21st century. This new image must have a name. This name should be chosen by the residents themselves.”
The referendum will take place early in the summer and will include a ‘traditional’ way of voting via ballot box, as well as a more modern way of secure electronic voting.
From these results, five names will be put forward to the municipal council which will make the final decision.
He also underlined the importance the municipality attaches to the development of new technologies, with EU funding, and referred to plans to convert Paphos into a ‘Smart City’, by means of available information and communication technologies.
The mayor also announced the innovative programme: ‘Paint my home, I help my neighbourhood to beautify my city’, in which subsidised initiatives will help improve Paphos by promoting clean up schemes.