News from St Francis Property Owners November 2016
Greetings to all from St Francis Bay.
Hellloooo …. Its Party Month in St Francis! December and the festive season has arrived. St Francis is gearing up for its property owner and holiday maker invasion….always an exciting time of year of seeing old friends and making new friends.
The good news is that the Municipality has increased the pothole repair team from 4 to 15 over the past few weeks which has resulted in many potholes being repaired in the town and they will be working over the December period repairing the potholes across the town. Some of our arterial roads are also being slurried to improve their surfaces. We have approval for our Ann Ave repair project and the projects that have been submitted by the private property owners are in the process of being approved.
It is clear from the amount of donations received to-date (R4.3m) that we will have to rely on the introduction of a SRA levy if we are going to raise the funds required to restore our infrastructure. We believe it is important that the Municipality agrees in principle to support our application for a SRA levy for St Francis before we ask you, the property owners, to vote on the introduction of this levy. We have completed the first draft of our St Francis SRA Business Plan, and presented it to the Kouga Region DA Caucus on 21 November. We followed this up with a more in-depth discussion of this proposal at a second meeting on 28 November. The Kouga DA Caucus consists of the full group of DA Councillors sitting on the Kouga Council as well as Councillor Representation from the District Council i.e. the Sarah Baartman District which Kouga is part of. The DA Caucus voted in favour of supporting our proposal provided we get the necessary approval from St Francis property owners. The next step is to ask you, the property owners of St Francis, to approve our SRA proposal. We require a majority vote from you, the property owners, to allow the SFPO to submit our SRA application to the Kouga Council for final approval. Once we have provided proof – that the majority of St Francis property owners have voted in favour of the SRA levy – the Municipality will then implement the By-Law and Policy required for the introduction of a SRA arrangement in the Kouga Region, and introduce the levy for the St Francis area at the start of the next Municipal financial year starting on July 1, 2017.
We have received overwhelming support for the SRA proposal from the property owners who have attended our 5 public meetings over the past 12 months. We used these meetings, and the one-on-one interactions we have had with many of you, to survey the level of support we have for our SRA proposal. The show of hands we asked for at all of these meetings (many for and very few against) gave us the mandate to ask the Kouga Municipality to support our campaign to Save St Francis. In most cases those who had concerns with our proposal and voted against it subsequently followed up with us and discussed their concerns. We have gathered some very helpful suggestions as a result and we are always thankful for the constructive contributions we have received.
We have in the meantime been able to set up and operationalise the SFPO NPC (the St Francis Property Owners Not-For-Profit Company) to start restoring our infrastructure. On 25 November 2016, we have received the signed MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) from the Kouga Municipality mandating the SFPO NPC to manage the Spit and Beach repairs on its behalf. The SFPO NPC will also manage the SRA levy and the restoration of the rest of our infrastructure should we receive your vote in favour of the SRA levy. This company has been operational since July this year when we hired Greg Miller as our Project Manager. The donations we have received to-date have allowed us to start our infrastructure restoration operations and do a lot of the preparatory work required to calculate what an appropriate levy should be to accomplish this restoration work. We would like to thank all of those property owners who have donated so generously to our Saving St Francis campaign and given their wholehearted backing to Saving St Francis and the SFPO. Without their contributions we could not have made the progress we have to-date.
We will continue to keep you informed on progress through our monthly newsletters, the SFPO websites, and the local press. We are stepping up our communication through Facebook to make sure we reach as many property owners as possible over the next month or two. This is all aimed at giving all property owners as much information as possible to assist you with casting your vote for the SRA levy. Clearly we want you to vote yes, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
As part of our Saving St Francis campaign we have not only focussed on restoring our infrastructure, but we have also asked our property owners, residents, business owners and business operators what they want St Francis to ideally be in 10-15 years’ time i.e. by 2030. We conducted two Focus Group brainstorming sessions and several one-on-one sessions with additional people. We have now completed the St Francis Vision 2030 document and it will be made available to all property owners on the SFPO website shortly. We will present the key elements of this Vision at the SFPO AGM on 22 December, 2016 (5.00pm at The Links). This will be a living document, a living Vision that will be updated periodically. Its primary purpose is to attract investment into our town, create employment, and uplift our Sea Vista Township. It also gives key justification for why we need to, and should want to, restore and upgrade our infrastructure. We want St Francis (the Greater St Francis area) to be a World Class Lifestyle Destination. We have the assets in St Francis that are both unique and abundant enough to make this vision achievable in the next 10-15 years. I encourage you to read the St Francis Vision 2030, and give us your feedback.
Please diarise that the St Francis Property Owners AGM will be held at The Links on the 22nd December at 5:00pm.
Our donations to-date have reached R4.3m. This has come from some 89 donor’s to-date. You can look at the list of those who have donated on our websites ….and talking about websites we launched two new websites three months ago, one for the SFPO Association, and the other for the SFPO NPC where your donations are received and invested in the restoration of our infrastructure. Website links :www.stfrancispropertyowners.co.za and http://npc.stfrancispropertyowners.co.za/
As our subscription year runs from 1st October to the 30th September your 2017 subscriptions are due. The annual membership fee is just R450 or R300 for pensioners.
Banking details are:
Name: St Francis Bay Residents Association
Bank: Standard Bank Humansdorp
Bank Code: 050015
Account No.: 08 249 9276
When payment is made please quote your name and Erf. No. as reference