Peggy Cidor’s round-up of city affairs

ABOUT HALF of Jerusalemites were entitled to vote in this week’s election; as of Wednesday morning, 252,100 voted. (photo credit: ERICA SCHACHNE)
ABOUT HALF of Jerusalemites were entitled to vote in this week’s election; as of Wednesday morning, 252,100 voted.
(photo credit: ERICA SCHACHNE)
Paving the way
Safra Square has taken note that the recent storms and heavy rains and other factors have caused significant damage to roads throughout the city. Accordingly, Mayor Moshe Lion ruled on Monday that NIS 10 million will be added to the already enlarged (compared to last year) budget of NIS 160 million to repave and improve for city’s road network.
A clean sweep
A new cleaning company has been hired for the 18 schools for children with special needs in Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods. The outgoing cleaning company was dismissed following repeated complaints; the situation had gotten so bad that parents and staff had to do much of the cleaning and the parents’ association threatened to go on strike and keep the children home rather than expose them to sanitation hazards.
Jerusalemites vote
About half of Jerusalemites (410,615) were entitled to vote in this week’s elections and they did it through the same polls that functioned for the recent municipal elections – in schools and community centers, including polls adapted to voters with special needs. The rate of participation of Jerusalemites to general elections was 67% for the 2015 elections and 65% for the 2013 elections.
Things are going swimmingly
After closure for more than two years, the legendary swimming pool at the German Colony will reopen, renovated and modernized, following a decision of the local planning and construction committee. The pool will be part of a complex including 45 housing units, a mall and a gym complex. That was the solution proposed by the municipality to the owners of the plot in return for the renovation and reopening of the pool as a public swimming pool in the neighborhood. The pool will be part of the facilities of the Ginot Hair local council and community center and will be accessible to all Jerusalem residents.
A RENDERING of A-Tur, 1880. The neighborhood will finally be getting a community center (Wikimedia Commons)
Staying in the city
In line with the mayor’s wish to boost to tourism in the city, the local planning and construction committee has approved several hotel projects. One particularly interesting one is “Mishkenot Hate’atron,” located opposite the Jerusalem Theater, part of a larger plan to link tourism with culture. It will have 76 rooms plus 42 housing units on the top stories, a business area on the first floor and a large parking area.
Two additional new hotels that recently opened are Bis Style (104 rooms) on Ben Yehuda Street, and Lady Stern (194 rooms) on Jaffa Road.  Additional hotel projects include Rakevet ba Moshava (180 rooms) in Talpiot Mizrah, Hotel Nitzba (325 rooms), Hotel Braun (46 rooms) and Beit Habishop (50 rooms) in the city center and German Colony.
Altogether, constructing permits will be issued this year for 2,000 hotel rooms in small and medium-sized hotels, in addition to the larger ones that already exist.
Mabruk (congrats) to A-Tur
Jerusalem’s predominantly Arab A-Tur neighborhood, close to the Mount of Olives, with 38,000 residents, will finally have a community center.
The planning committee agreed to promote a joint private and public initiative for the first time in an east Jerusalem neighborhood. The project will include a community center and an education center for the promotion of sciences studies for children and young students. On the private side, part of the complex will include businesses and a tourist center.
The plot on which the project will be built belongs to one of the residents of the neighborhood.
Park here
As part of a tradition of cleaning the city for Passover and Ramadan, the municipality has removed some 350 abandoned vehicles from parking spaces across the city.
In addition to benefiting resident and visitor drivers seeking parking spots, the removal can help protect children from mishaps, such as getting trapped in the old cars.