Councillors are gearing up for some major and minor upgrades in their areas, as the deadline for ward budget allocations looms.
Although most councillors in the Athlone District missed their 23 April deadline for ward allocation requests for the 2007- 2008 financial year, all had made their submissions to subcouncil by last night.
Councillor Kenneth Lategan said that although his submission was late, this was because of logistical reasons. He had done all of the preliminary work, and it was the assessments that had held him up.
"We will be receiving R300 000. The whole amount will probably be going into one item - a robot on the corner of Lonedown and Hanover Park Avenues.
He said that adding traffic lights at that particular spot was necessary because with the bus terminus there has been an increase in traffic.
But Fagmi Abass, vice-chairperson of the Hanover Park Civic Association, said this was unnecessary. "There's no need for traffic lights there. It won't make much of a difference to the traffic flow."
He said that there are several other things the money could be pumped into to uplift the community.
"We need to have our sports fields upgraded. We must flatten them so that they can become more user friendly. In Newfields Village, residents were promised a playground. We need things that will keep the children occupied. Let them form soccer teams, rather than gangs."
Councillor for the Lansdowne area, Pat Hill, said that this year there were 12 more parks that needed fixing up.
"Most of the operating budget will go towards fixing the equipment in the parks. The parks will be fenced off, and we're hoping to give the keys to the residents," said Hill. He will be allocating money to signage, painting the Lansdowne Civic Centre and roads.
"The Woodside Special Care Centre will be receiving a R10 000 grant in aid," said Hill.
Lester September, Lansdowne Civic Association secretary, welcomed Hill's plans, but said it needed to be taken further.
"What we really need are more fourway stops. Derby and Highgrove Roads are notorious for accidents. People are always speeding down those roads," said September.
Councillor Charlotte Tabisher, for the Athlone area, will be splitting her budget three ways.
"This year I will be closing up the Cornflower Sports Field in Bridgetown. We have a major dumping problem there. The public also have safety concerns around that place," said Tabisher. She said that once the field is fenced off, proper grass can be planted and an irrigation system put in place.
She will also widen parts of Clover Crescent. The last third of her budget will go towards paving the area in front of the Bokmakierie Mosque. "There is an open piece of land that is being used for dumping. It's sad that people have to walk through all that rubbish to get to mosque," said Tabisher.