Boston residents could soon pay more for top-up municipal services to counter what some feel is a growing crime-and- grime problem in the area.
Residents have agreed to set up a community improvement district (CID), joining several other neighbourhoods that pay higher rates for extra municipal services, such as cleaning and law enforcement.
Hannes Trutter, from the Boston CID steering committee, said the required 60% of residents had backed the proposal, which was now being reviewed by the City.
“I believe that the CID will be a great benefit for the community as we have seen great success from other initiates such as the VRCID (Voortrekket Road Corridor Improvement District) and we are looking to replicate their system.
You also see CIDs doing well all over the world in places such as New York and London. From my research, I have found there are 43 registered CIDs all over Cape Town and in New York alone there are 76 registered CIDs, so if a first-world city like that is running to it then it can only do Boston the world of good.”
A public meeting on Thursday January 30 heard that the CID had achieved the required support.
Mr Truter said they expected a response from the City by April at the latest and the extra services could be rolled out by the beginning of September.
“At this moment, we estimate that the monthly costs will be R100 per R1 million of the municipal value of 2018. So, for example, if your property is valued at R2 million then your monthly fee will be R200, of course the businesses in the Boston CBD, like Pick n Pay and so forth will pay a substantially larger fee.”
At a meeting at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, on Thursday February 6, Boston residents complained about crime, reckless taxi drivers, vagrants and deteriorating roads.
Ward 2 councillor Leonore van der Walt, mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith and traffic officials attended the meeting.
Boston Neighbourhood Watch chairman Hugo Coetzee said the area had seen an influx of squatters in the past year.
“Although we are not directly blaming them for crime, the watch has found that more incidents have taken place in the areas where they have settled. These crimes range from from opportunistic crimes such as robberies, theft out of vehicles and trespassing to more major crimes such as breaking into houses and businesses.”