When will the city build a new municipality building? When will dog owners finally get to let their pets off leash in their own park? Will the the roads and bridges ever be organized so that residents will be able to drive safely? What about the new neighborhoods that are supposed to be built, or the Matnas building? Will there ever be a time when the residents won't have to work outside of the city? We have so many questions, and they all have answers. The only problem? The solutions will hardly be implemented immediately.
All of the above topics and more have been planned ever since the city was founded, yet they are being implemented very slowly. Taking in mind the city's young age, a relatively large number of projects have successfully been built. The general feeling, however, is that they are not enough. The train connects us to the Tel Aviv metropolis, Anabe Park attracts a huge crowd of visitors, the Cultural Hall offers an extensive selection of activities, events, and shows, the mall acts as a major city anchor for commerce, and the Municipal Pool provides entertainment for everyone on hot summer days. All of these projects are already built and standing, but it seems as if their is a lack of development surrounding them. Most of us have already gotten used to the fact that the city is in a constant stage of construction and renovation.
The Modiin Municipality is still located at the same building that was once meant to be a school. Many of its departments are "temporarily" based at The Caravans, a compound that was supposed to be long gone, since the new municipality building was supposed to be built across from the Azrieli Mall. These plans are, however, still on paper. They have been ready for quite a while, and there is no doubt that a new building would improve the work of the municipality workers, who are currently spread out at different locations across the city. The problem is mainly budgetary, estimating an expense of around thirty to forty thousand shekels.
This week, Modiin News asked Mayor Haim Bibas about future plans to develop Modiin, and when the residents will get to enjoy the new public compounds and institutions. "About building the municipality building, we are waiting for a "tax improvement pass" for the administration," he said. "I am talking about all of the lands sold by the administration in the State of Israel for which VAT was not paid. The moment this suit is over, we will get our part -- a few millions out of the one-and-a-half to two-billion shekels (all of the authorities' claim). This is supposed to happen this year.
[Construction on] the dog park should begin over the coming weeks, and [the park] will be built by the end of the year. As far as transportation goes, the central bridge at the Municipality Square and the Southern Bridge to Wadi Anabe will be built next year. Building the Central Bus Station (under Azrieli) is being discussed with the Ministry of Transportation to see which parts of it will be built. The station was planned for 250 thousand residents (in accordance with the city's final plans), and the station cannot be built today unless it is built proportionately. The discussion is supposed to take place this November. About the Matnas building, is is supposed to be established on Emek HaEla in HaKeremim. The Youth Clubs will also be built -- one in Avanei Chen and one in Tsfadi. Two nursing homes are supposed to open as well -- one at the entrance to the city, which has been already been approved to be located across from Ts'alaon St., and the other between Shivtei Yisrael and Moria and HaShvatim. More plans include investing 3.5 million shekels to upgrade the development of Anabe Park, for example to add shading, vegetation, handicap accessibility and more attractions."
Still in the Planning Stages:
- The city's entrance. There aren't many other cities in Israel with entrances as "rocky" as Modiin's. A city's entrance is usually a combined residential and commercial area that gives the feeling of a lively, busy city -- not of a sleepy suburb. Some of the municipality's departments and public institutes are forced to provide service from lots that do not suit a new city, such as Tipat Chalav, the rabbinate, the Police Station, and more -- all of which should have had permanent buildings a long time ago. The good news is that plans for landscape development on the avenue have recently been completed. The "Emek HaMayim" project will stand on the ride side, where more than six hundred residential units will be built. Bidding on the lot is scheduled to begin April 2011.
- The makeshift parking lots. There is an unpaved, makeshift parking lot next to the Cultural Hall and across from Marlaz center. The bus company parks next to the Contractors Center, and it feels like one may park next to any free tree or bush, especially since there is no parking authority in the city to straighten things out. Until the parking lot was opened next to the Municipal Pool, we all witnessed illegal parking jobs on traffic islands and roundabouts -- luckily that's been solved!
- The neighborhood building. This is something that is hard to deal with, especially when certain contractors don't take care of their surroundings and work with bulldozers and tools that create dusts and affect the air quality, making it hard to breath. The neighborhood that is the most under construction is HaKeremim, which is currently being built on the small slopes towards Ben Shemen Forest and Route 443. The image is significantly reminiscent of when the city was first being built, but the construction is making progress at a fast pace and the properties are snatched up almost immediately after being put on the market.
- HaTsirorim Neighborhood and Neighborhood "N." This will provide a chance for many residents to upgrade their living situations. It will take a few years, but the plans have already been almost entirely approved and will be the result of the lessons learned by the Ministry of Construction and Housing over the years.