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Onrus, Vermont SRA gets enough votes for council

After two deadline extensions, the Onrus and Vermont proposed Special Ratings Area gained enough votes to take their proposal to council.

The 50% plus one mark was reached on Tuesday evening, but Abner Inghels, chairperson of the steering committee said voting would continue until today (Thursday 9 January).

The first voting deadline was on 29 November. The steering committee then gained extension until 29 December and then until 9 January. He says the deadlines for the vote was purely administrative and to aid the steering committee to get all the information ready in time to submit the proposal to council in order to have it considered for the municipal budget.

Inghels says by Wednesday morning, there were two days left to vote and a total of 2 139 property owners voted yes for the Special Ratings Area (SRA) and 229 property owners voted no. He says this means 57% of property owners voted, and of the votes, 90% of votes are yes, and 10% of votes are no.

Asked why it took two extensions in order to gain the votes of more than 50% of property owners, Inghels said it is mostly because people tend to put off administrative tasks. He said the numbers indicate that the majority of property owners are in favour of the proposed SRA.

The Onrus Vermont SRA proposal was presented to the community last year and a business plan and budget published on a website. Special Ratings Areas aim to provide supplementary municipal services to a specified neighbourhood with residents within that neighbourhood funding the SRA with supplementary property levies.

Inghels said the plan is to increase security, cleanliness and safety of Onrus and Vermont. One of the proposed projects entails the installation of six number-plate- recognition cameras that can monitor all the entrances to the two suburbs and some of the public open spaces. “More cameras can be added in the following years.” He said a security vehicle with two security guards and two security guards on foot will be appointed within the first financial year. Other proposed services include the maintenance of the green belts, estuary monitoring, additional refuse collection during peak holiday seasons and life guards at Onrus Beach during long weekends. Street lights for Vermont are also proposed.

The total income for the first financial year is set at about R1,9 million for the 4 133 erven in Onrus and Vermont or R164 823 per month. According to Inghels, the proposal will now be submitted to council and the public will have a 30 day period to object. Council will then vote on the matter and if approved it will be included in the next municipal budget and implemented in the new financial year.

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