Newsletter for its Extended Global Community
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The following transcription and Spreadsheet have been submitted by Russ Motley and Rhett Schober.
What is going on with the North Akumal Road Improvement Project?
Q. What is the North Akumal Road Improvement Project?
A. This is a project inspired to improve the image of Akumal and increase rentals and property values. Akumal Villas, owned by Rhett Schober and a client/partner, kick started the project with a $30,000 U.S. donation, provided that the community donates at least $30,000 U.S. in matching funds.
Q. Who is managing and/or co-coordinating this North Akumal Road Improvement Project”
A. Rhett Schober, owner of Akumal Villas and Russ Motley, owner of Akumal Investments-Real Estate Services, have taken on the responsibility to manage and coordinate this Project. Their first goal has been the solicitation of additional funds to ensure there is enough money to do a good job on the full length of the road in North Akumal.
Q. When will the project begin?
A. Due to the increase in tourism for spring break, Semana Santa (Easter Week) and the additional traffic, it has been determined to wait until May 1st before the road is closed down to a single lane. One exception will be the immediate improvement in front of Casa Rosa and the adjacent Balam Ek.
Q. Where will the construction improvements start?
A. The first bricks to be laid will begin with the expansion of the curve, across from the Las Casitas’ tennis court. Then the long section in front of Casa Alux. Next would be Mi Casa del Mar. Then, work will start at the north end of the road, around the main entrance of Yal-ku lagoon, completing the square, and then coming back south.
Q. Will the side streets in the Yal-ku area be improved?
A. Not at this time, but it depends on the donations and could be Plan B. The community will determine Plan B.
Q. Will the improvements include a pedestrian sidewalk or bike trail?
A. Not at this time. The road is the #1 priority, but depending on donations it will be a future project.
Q. How wide will the improved sections be?
A. Right now, it is planned for 6 meters or 19.7 feet. This may be reduced to 5.5 meters or 18 feet in order to extend the area of improvements.
Q. How many square meters of improvements is the entire project?
A. Not including the small section in front of CEA or the Yal ku side streets, there are 7,495 M2 if the road is 6 meters wide. At 5.5 meters wide the total coverage is 6,872 M2. The difference between 6 and 5.5 meters wide is 623 M2. FYI: There are 10.76 square feet per square meter.
Q. What is the cost of the project?
A. Right now the bid is $34.80 US per M2. The cost to improve the entire targeted area would be $260,826 US at 6 meters wide. However, the lead bidder right now has committed to drop the cost to $26.50, or better, if all 7,495 M2 is awarded to the contractor. That takes the cost down to $198,617, well within the reach of our community. At 5.5 meters wide, the cost would drop to $182,108.
Q. Even at $26.50 US per M2 at 5.5 meters wide, there is a significant shortfall in funds. Where is the additional $88,091 going to come from, or what sections of road are not going to be paved?
A. The committee will keep up the solicitation process, and believe that once people see the actual results, the additional funds will be forthcoming.
Q. Will there be speed bumps and what style?
A. Speed bumps are currently planned every 100 meters (328 feet) and have a design similar to the existing topes in front of La Buena Vida.
Q. I have already paid to improve my section of road, why should I assist more?
A. Because you are a community member and care about Akumal. This will probably be the last opportunity we have to complete this project at such low pricing per square meter. Something to consider is purchasing a series of the personalized paving bricks mentioned below; think about them as presents for birthdays, anniversaries, remembrances, Christmas, Easter, etc., etc.
Q. Did the community achieve the goal to obtain the $30,000 matching funds from Akumal Villas?
A. YES! Go Akumal!
Q. Who has donated and how much?
A. As of this writing (March 30, 2011) there is $94,017 US committed and $78,517 US in the bank. See the spreadsheet below for details. If you want to join the cause and donate, please e-mail Info@MARMX.com your name, property and amount, so this spreadsheet can be updated. Also, if you have donated and your name is not on the list, please send an e-mail.
Everyone we have discussed this project with has asked for “full transparency”. For this reason, the names and amounts of the donors are listed below.
Q. Why is the donor list so short?
A. Because we have not done a good job of getting the information out to all of our neighbors. PLEASE ask your Home Owner’s Association (HOA) to get pro-actively involved, and donate individually if you want to see the image of Akumal and your property values increase!
Q. Are there other donors besides the property owners in Akumal?
A. Not to date. One vendor is sitting on a $20,000 proposal, and Akumal’s newest year round resident, Antonio Bolio, is heading up the vendor solicitations. We are fortunate to have his assistance, and Antonio is contacting each vendor, the Taxi Union, and the tour companies.
Q. How can I help?
A. Mostly with $$$$$. Cash and check donations can be made at the Akumal Investments office next to the Lol Ha, or the management office on the second floor, outside of La Lunita. For wiring instructions, please email Info@MARMX.com. If you rent your home or condo, please put something in your property explaining our goal and where they can donate. Many long time visitors are more than willing to help.
Susan Mead has sent down an Urban Planner. He toured the area in late March and is formulating his thoughts. It is too early to report on these ideas, but we certainly look forward to sharing them.
Q. Is my donation tax deductable?
A. Yes. If you own a business in Mexico or you are a property owner. Please request a Factura and one will be issued. As a property owner, the Factura will raise your cost basis when you go to sell, reducing your capital gains tax. The Factura is also deductible on your U.S. taxes. Please check with your accountant for further details.
Q. Other than Akumal Villas, have any businesses that profit from Akumal donated money for the road improvement?
A. Yes a few. However, the tour companies that use the road daily have yet to donate. Ask your property manager, booking company, travel agent, Realtor, tour operator, transport company, dive shop, fishing captain, bar & restaurant to participate. Ask everyone for money!
Q. When will the road paving be completed?
A. Hopefully, the committee will collect enough money to do the entire road, and the work will definitely be finished by the beginning of high season; December 1st.
Q. How will our new road be maintained?
A. For $25, we will sell personalized bricks with your name, or the name of your company engraved and placed in the road. We will ask every property owner and management company to place a small tear-off form in each property, so tourists can fill out the form and purchase their very own brick. Since there are about 2km of street, this program could last years and assist in future projects, like the sidewalk or park.
Sherwood Anders is heading up this project via on-line venues and will have more detailed information in a few weeks.
Q. Is there a cut-off date for accepting donations?
A. No, not until we have raised enough money to brick all of North Akumal.
After only 30 days of working on this project, and only 24 donors, it is impressive that just shy of $100,000 US has been committed towards this effort. This project can be completed with only a few key donations on behalf of the community. Vendors, Condo Associations, and property owner donations can make this project a reality.
The momentum is growing, don’t stop now! Let’s get this project done and move on to other positive improvements for our serene little Caribbean community. As you know, Akumal is the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of the Riviera Maya. There is no doubt that the road improvement project will be a success!
The Volunteers of Improving Akumal
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