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Formentera's industrial park to be named “can Bonet”

Foto Ple vista general260517 pThis morning the Formentera Island Council convened its May plenary session, an event which brought unanimous approval for seven propositions, one from the Gent per Formentera governing team, two from Partido Popular (PP), one from the socialist party (PSOE) and two from Compromís. One proposal passed with 11 “yes” votes from Gent per Formentera and Compromís and abstention from PP and PSOE, while another two—from PP and PSOE—were rejected.

Unanimous approval
Attendees united in their support of the following propositions: on two incoming spokespersons for the supervisory board of Formentera's audiovisual management entity; another, backed by PP, to tackle animal neglect and cruelty; a PP proposition to publish small contracts; a PSOE measure to remove signs from completed public works projects and two Compromís-backed measures—one to monitor the Punta Prima sewage pipe and another to raise awareness about respecting cyclists.

OK'd measures
Today's plenary saw approval for a measure, backed by Gent per Formentera and Compromís and spurned by PP and PSOE, to place names on new streets in urban areas and on the island's industrial park. On recommendation from Obra Cultural Balear and Universitat de les Illes Balears, the park will be called can Bonet.

One measure—to promote work in Formentera's countryside—got “yes” votes from all parties, minus PP abstention.

Report-back from Daisee Aguilera
Today's session included a review from environment councillor Daisee Aguilera on the offices she heads up. Highlighting efforts to stem the spread of invasive snakes and the processionary pine beetle, Aguilera also gave her take on the path forward with the island's new plan for waste management and boasted of expanded surveillance—soon to extend from Cala Saona and Es Caló—of watercraft that anchor along Formentera's coasts.

Council backs chamber of commerce's training courses

Foto conveni cambraThe heads of the Formentera Council and the Eivissa-Formentera chamber of commerce, Jaume Ferrer and Juan Manuel Costa, have formalised an agreement to co-present a raft of activities in tandem. Backed by a €7,000 contribution from the administration, the Cambra de Comerç d'Eivissa i Formentera will host courses in continuing education, business consulting, startups, business management, financing and business security between January and October 2017.

The following courses, currently in planning stages, will benefit from the Council's support:

1. Languages: German, English, Italian and French.
2. Trade: customer service, management and window dressing.
3. Information technology, website creation, applied accounting.
4. Entrepreneurs: business creation and management, financing and business security.

By focusing on practical approaches and real-life examples which can be tweaked to fit a variety of contexts, both entities hope to raise local awareness about trade and new strategies in order to increase competitivity.

The Council supports initiatives like this one as a way to ensure Formentera's business community is on equal footing with the rest of the islands and optimise the services offered to tourists, the leading driver of the local economy.

Formentera Council picks up tab for locals' diving lessons

Foto conveni vellmariCiF chair Jaume Ferrer and Cristina Ozores, a spokesperson for the Vellmarí company, put their signatures on a deal to create discounts for Formentera residents who study diving. The initiative is aimed at spotlighting Formentera's wealth of undersea life and promoting sport.

Under the agreement, the Council agrees to chip in for a 50% reduction—up to €7,000—for Formentera residents who learn to dive in 2017. An individual can establish her or his residency by presenting a photocopy of legal ID (Spanish DNI) and a proof of residency (certificat de residència) at least one year old.

Promotion of activities under Vellmarí's "Descobreix la Formentera submarina" (“Discover Formentera underwater”) programme must always appear with the Formentera Council listed as partnering sponsor.

Progress check on la Savina port upgrades

Foto visita obres portThe president, vice-president and infrastructure councillor of the Formentera Council accompanied the director of Spain's national ports and the head of the Balearic port authority (APB) on a visit of upgrades under way at la Savina port. Jaume Ferrer, Bartomeu Escandell and Rafael González were joined by José Llorca and Joan Gual de Torrella, who took the opportunity to announce the project's estimated May 31 completion.

In welcoming the representatives of regional and state ports, President Ferrer highlighted the importance of the two officials' Formentera visit, citing several la Savina harbour improvement projects presently afoot, all of which have enjoyed the cooperation of multiple agencies.

The chief of national ports traced his agency's work with the Formentera administration to ordinances which put land use within the domain of local authorities. The head of APB, for his part, described the current upgrades part of a broader effort to “guarantee transport and supply”.

A lighthouse built around culture
Under an agreement between APB and the Formentera Council, la Mola's lighthouse—a cultural heritage site property of the administration of Balearic ports—will be loaned to the Council, which has promised to use the space for cultural programming. President Ferrer indicated his administration is now finalising plans to revamp the space and expressed hope the undertaking be completed by the start of next summer.

Plans unveiled for new reinforced power cable linking Eivissa and Formentera

Presentacio nou cable electricEarlier this evening, the Govern's minister of energy, Marc Pons, stood before members of the Formentera Council to share details surrounding a new undersea power cable the Palma administration hopes to run from Eivissa to Formentera. Today is the first day of public notice of the nearly €78-million project.

CiF chair Jaume Ferrer said calls for the cable went back years and characterised it as “an essential investment for our energy system”. According to the Council head, the cable will do away with the noise and emissions problems faced by residents near the power station in the Es Ca Marí neighbourhood. The Council, he pledged, will present its own review of the scheme along with suggested improvements. Ferrer also intimated that the administration would push to minimise any knock-on effects, particularly in inland portions of the project.

Technical features
The project, which officials predicted would be complete between 2019 and 2020, envisions construction on Formentera of an ancillary power station rigged for 132 kilowatts (kW), expansion of Eivissa's existing 132-kW station, “Torrent,” burial of ground portions of cables on both islands, installation of the underwater cable itself and a tripolar linkage with integrated, AC fibre-optic connections. Undersea operations will not exceed a depth of 65 metres, nominal tension of 132 kW and 100 megawatt power.

Plans for the cable reflect an attempt to address the shortcomings long plaguing Formentera's summer electricity supply while sidestepping new infrastructure that would generate power locally. Today, the connection between the islands is equipped for 30 kW, though near constant snags have threatened the stability of Formentera's energy supplies.

In attendance at the presentation were Alejandra Ferrer, Rafael González and Daisee Aguilera, the Council's heads of land, infrastructure/IT and environment/energy, respectively. Also in tow were the Govern's director general of energy and climate change, Joan Groizard, the regional envoy of Spain's power grid, Eduardo Maynau, and the Govern delegation's chief of industry, José Ignacio Pradas.

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