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Constuction of Town Clock Becomes Hot Topic

It will sit in the middle of the intersection of Barrier Reef Drive and Ambergris Street – the new clock tower that the San Pedro Town Council has already started working on. But what did not sit well with the residents of San Pedro was the fact that the clock tower is smack in the middle of front street!

What people thought was work on drainage or underground wires turned out to be the construction of the new clock tower; but nobody expected it there. Now that the news broke on the Reef Radio’s morning show, residents have started expressing their discontent with the location of the clock tower.

Ambergris Today consulted with Mayor Paz to get some more information on the matter.

*The construction of the project is final; work will continue as planned and the town clock will be done in a period of six weeks.

* It was the idea of the San Pedro Town Council to have the town clock placed in the middle of the street for two main reasons: (1) to alleviate speeding and (2) to stop heavy vehicles from passing on Barrier Reef Drive.

*The street measures 30 feet in width and the town clock base will measure 7ft x 7ft which will be located in the middle of the street leaving 11 ½ feet on both sides for vehicular flow.

*In regards to having made decisions without a public consultation Mayor Paz commented that, since it is a donation (from Ramon’s Village) and not a project funded by the San Pedro Town Council, no public consultation is needed.

*Mayor Paz told Ambergris Today that one of the conditions for the donation was to have it in the center of the street, if it is to be placed elsewhere then it would not be donated.

*The billboard display will be available for advertisements for town activities such as Costa Maya Festival Activities, September Celebration Schedule, etc. free of cost. If any other business would like to advertise on the billboard there will be advertising fees which would be paid to Ramon’s Village and not the Town Council.

*Ramon’s Village will be in charge of the maintenance of the Town Clock and of the electricity bill of the billboard. The San Pedro Town Council will pay the electricity bill of the clock.

*Utility companies have agreed to allow the town clock in the middle of the street and BWS has agreed to move their pipe lines and work around the town clock.

Construction started on Monday, October 24, 2011, with Graniel’s Construction setting ground work for the clock. The estimated completion time is six weeks, in which a town clock measuring seven square feet at the base and standing 21 feet 8 inches tall and elevated two feet shall be erected in the middle of the street.

And this is what does not sit well with residents. Here are some of the comments from them:

*Why in the middle of the street, they ask? Are we not trying to relief traffic congestion on our narrow streets already?
*What about access to the Fire Truck in case of emergencies?
*One taxi association is already congesting the park area and the clock does not seem to be in the proper place.
*The park is so big, why not somewhere in the park, like where the ‘fountain’ should have been?
*There will be some crazy driver crashing into it sometime or the other.

During the period of construction the street section from the Alijua building to Jaguars Temple will be blocked. With so much uproar from the community, only time will tell if Mayor Paz and the Town Council back off and reconsider the erection of a town clock in the middle of Barrier Reef Drive; we shall see what develops and keep our readers updated.

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