St Francis Bay SRA back on track

Chris Gray and Wayne Furphy

Chris Gray (left) and Wayne Murphy

A new proposal for a St Francis Special Rate Area (SRA) was unveiled last evening at St Francis Links. St Francis Property Owners Association Chairman Wayne Furphy laid out the new criteria for a redefined  SRA to a disappointingly small group of property owners. Disappointing only in that at last year’s meeting to discuss the SRA the Links conference room was bursting at the seams, this year  – not so much!

To cover all discussed in the two hours last evening won’t fit in the allotted space of this post so we will stick to the most important points and deal with the nitty gritty in future posts.

In a nutshell the top priority is the Spit and Beach and so serious is the situation regarding St Francis’ biggest and possibly most important assets was the presence of Kouga Municipal Manager Charl du Plessis at the meeting. Du Plessis had a first-hand look at the state of the Spit with members of the committee and briefly addressed the meeting as to how serious the situation would become not only to t Francis Bay but to Kouga as a whole WHEN, NOT IF the spit gives way.

A petition will be circulated shortly both online (e-Mail) and at SPAR for concerned citizens to sign in support of Emergency Repairs to St Francis Bay and Beach. Both Furphy and du Plessis stressed the importance of signing this petition and submitting it to the municipality as soon a possible so that relevant authorities could be approached to stave off a disaster.

But back to the SRA!

Having considered the major concerns revolve around the Spit, Beach, roads, particularly the major intersections in the village, and security, the SRA has been proposed to attend to the more critical requirements within a demarcated area that covers from the canals to Harbour road.  In effect the means that Santareme, Otto’s and the harbour no longer form part of the SRA. Should the ‘suburbs’  wish to be incorporated in years to come, or wish to start their own SAR in the future, this can still be accommodated.

Many property owners will be happy to hear that the rate has also dropped from the 50% of your rates bill as proposed previously to just 25%. The priority is obviously the beach and spit and there is no doubt that funds raised through the SRA will be spent where need is most critical. That said the beach and spit are already critical and property owners are encouraged to make donations to the SFPO NPC Fund which raised R4.2 million over the past year and that has been used to do a lot of the groundwork in terms of assessing costs and processes that need to be followed in all aspects of the infrastructure upgrades / repairs.

More on the SRA in coming issues of St Francis Today but an overview of the content of the meeting is available on the St Francis Property Owners website. (Click on PUBLIC MEETING button)