ACROSS THE ISLAND
THERE is a waiting list of 2'225 for berths in the 12 ports in Majorca which are managed directly by the Balearic government. In most of the ports, the demand exceeds the number of berths available. The longest waiting list, 462, is in the port of Soller, where work is currently underway to increase mooring facilities. The waiting list in the port of Pollensa is 329. This is the port with the highest number of berths (592) of all those under the direct management of the government. There are 298 berths at Colonia de Sant Jordi, where the waiting list is 306, while Porto Colom, with 200 berths, has a waiting list of 292. Fernando Garrido, the director general of ports, said that no expansion is planned at the moment until the new law on ports is approved. He added that a moratorium had been approved until the end of 2005 because there are no regulations for controlling the installations. However, he added that the capacity of the government's ports could be increased by making better use of the area of water, for example, by installing more docks made of planks. There are 182 berths in the port of Andratx, which has a waiting list of 300. The smallest waiting lists are in Porto Petro (21), Es Bacares (29), S'Estanyol (53), Cala Figuera (74), Cala Rajada (71), Porto Cristo (129) and Cala Bona (149). Garrido said that the prices of the government-managed ports are the lowest, and it is his department's intention to maintain politicial and social prices to preserve the tradition. The concession for a berth in one of these ports is renewed every three years. The private nautical sector has long been calling for more mooring facilities, to attract the lucrative yachting trade but environmentalists are fiercely opposed to building any new marinas.
THE Gran Hotel Soller will be closed temporarily from today until February 28, for refurbishment. The five star hotel is in a 19th century palace which requires special maintenance and the management has decided to close while work is in process, in order not to disturb guests. The hotel has 38 rooms on three storeys. They include three luxury suites and two junior suites.
K Safety first
THE Balearic government plans to widen the bed of the Sa Cabana torrente or water course to Na Borges as a safety precaution, to reduce the risk of flooding. Work will take two and a half years to complete. Mayor Antoni Pastor confirmed that the Balearic environment ministry is drawing up plans for the operation which will cost six million euros. Manacor has suffered badly from flooding after torrential rains in the past, and the torrent has already been rerouted so that it no longer runs through the town centre.
Low season bus
WHEN winter arrives, many coastal areas of the island are deserted, and this leads to a reduction in the services available to people who live there all year round. Sa Rápita in the municipality of Campos is no exception, but from Monday, it will have a bus service, something which the residents have been demanding for a long time. However, it will not be a regular service. Anyone wishing to use the bus, which will link up with the Campos to Palma service, must request it on phone 971 580246 before 7pm on the previous day. There will be two services in the morning and two in the afternoon on weekdays and one in the morning and one in the afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays. Campos councillor Catalina Gelabert said we could not deny this service for Sa Rapita as most of the residents are elderly or immigrants and do not have cars.
New car park
THE town council has decided to convert the plot of land next to the covered swimming pool in Crist Rei Nou into a provisional car park, for people using the facilities. Deputy Mayor Rafel Torres said that over the next few months, the site will be cleaned and asphalted, so that cars can be used there. However, the arrangement will only be temporary, he said, as the site is destined for other sporting facilities. The council is debating what type of facility to build. Suggestions include a gym or padel courts, but this is a long term project which will not be finalised for at least two years. The site will provide parking for about 100 vehicles.
THE town council will enlarge the cemetery to meet demand. There is already a waiting list of 80 people who have requested graves or niches at the cemetery. The council wants to modernise the facilities to include a crematorium. The cost of work will be in the region of 600'00-700'000 euros.
SHORTLY before Christmas, the town council acquired a new road-sweeping machine to improve the street cleaning service. The machine has been leased and Mayor Antoni Amengual said that it would be used by the maintenance department to improve street cleaning in the centre and in the industrial estate. The Mayor also confirmed that 20 containers for the daily rubbish collection had been received and they will be installed in various parts of the town in the near future.