Art foundation

A cultural foundation named after artist Coll Bardolet has been established in Valldemossa. Its headquarters will be in Calle Blanquera, in a three storey building which the tourism ministry will purchase with part of the budget for projects to extend the tourist season. The building will then be donated to the Foundation. It will cost an estimated 2.6 million euros to buy and refurbish the building, which should be ready to open by the end of the year. Rosa Estaras, the deputy leader of the Balearic government, said that the Foundation, Costa Nord and La Cartuja “will form a cultural triangle which will make a visit to Valldemossa very attractive for tourists.” Coll Bardolet will donate part of his body of work to the Foundation. He arrived in Majorca in 1940 and is an Adoptive Son of Valldemossa. He founded the annual open air concert at Torrent de Pareis. The patrons of the Foundation include the artist and his family, the Balearic minister of education, Francesc Fiol, the head of the Council of Majorca's cultural department Dolça Mulet and the Mayor of Valldemossa Joan Muntaner.

Immigrant aid

THE town council has organised a talk at the auditorium tonight, aimed at immigrants, to inform them how to sort out their paperwork. Under the new law, immigrants have from February 7 to May 6 to legalise their situation in Spain. The council has been offering a special advisory service to immigrants every Monday since the end of May, and so far it has been used by 130 people. Mercedes Buendia, the head of the social services department, said that the work done so far has been “basic” and designed to encourage immigrants to register with the council. In order to put their papers in order, they must have been on the council census for a minimum of six months. She added that one of the other conditions is harder to fulfil, that of a labour contract, as hotels and restaurants do not start contracting people until April.

Wine museum

THE Partido Popular (PP) opposition on the town council has proposed a wine museum, with half the funding from the European Union. Councillor Jeroni Salom, who is promoting the project, said that the balance would come from the Balearic government and the town council. It is not a new project, during the last legislature, an effort was made to get it underway, using money from the unpopular tourist tax.

Road works

THE Council of Majorca will spend 1.4 million euros in Maria de la Salud over the three-year period 2004-06. More than half the funds will be for road works, including improvements on the road to Sineu (PM 351) and Santa Margalida (PM-352). Plans also include 413'000 euros for improved street lighting, repairs to the town hall (53'000 euros) and to the building known as Ca Ses Monges (84'000 euros).

Huge debt

THE residents of Manacor owe the town council 7'400'000 euros in rates and taxes. Rafel Nadal, head of the council's finance department, said that the debt had been accumulating over many years and admitted that the tax collection department should be more efficient. He said solutions are now being studied to remedy the situation. Twenty-eight per cent of the debt corresponds to the rates (IBI), 20 per cent to the road tax, 18 per cent to the rubbish collection charges and 11 per cent to planning infractions. Since 2002, residents have had to pay their council bills through the bank.