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The Wenshan Village Chiefs Appealed to City Government to Assist on Moving All Wanlong Transformer Stations

* Ko Wen-je: Negotiation Goal Would Be for the Transformer Facilities to Be “Comprehensively Underground”

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je hosted the Mayor’s Town Hall Meeting with Wenshan Village Chiefs on May 1. In response to the Chiefs’ proposal of prompt completion of Taipower’s Wanlong Office Building Complex and moving all Wanlong transformer stations, Ko stated that this case is a large project that involves urban planning, and he will order Deputy Mayor Pong Cheng-sheng to mediate between the local community and Taipower with the goal for the transformer facilities to be “comprehensively underground”.

In regards to the Village Chiefs’ proposal about the filthy and deteriorated environment at the passageway west of Taipei Jingmei Girls High School campus, as well as people’s perception of absent parking management in this area, Ko Wen-je immediately ordered that the issues will be governed by the New Construction Office (NCO) and assisted by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Ko Wen-je stated that, the local surroundings shall be restored in order in a single attempt, and the parking spaces also need to be assigned properly in a single attempt. He also asked the Director to help with synthesizing suggestions from all parties, and after all related regulated processes are complete, the City Government will pay for all necessary expenses to improve the local environment.

The Village Chiefs also expressed the need for making a cement retaining wall along the slope at Sec. 4, Xinhai Rd. Mayor Ko indicated that building the retaining wall is a must. However, in accordance with regulations, the City Government could not pay all the expenses related to the construction, but would offer subsidies. Ko Wen-je authorized the Secretary-General to negotiate with the local residents and derive an apportionment ratio of the retaining wall construction expense that is acceptable for the government and the locals.

In addition, the Village Chiefs also proposed to increase the number of kindergarten classes in Lixing Elementary School and Shijian Elementary School. A Chief explained that the so-called low birth rate mostly applies to rural areas where the elderly and children make up the majority of the population. The metropolitan area is mostly constituted of young people who have relatively high interests in raising a family, and many villages in Wenshan District are also facing an increasing number of school-age children. In response to this, Ko Wen-je stated that even though it’s inappropriate for the areas with low birth rate to have additional classes, some areas’ schools are experiencing overabundant entry applications. He thereby ordered the Department of Education to examine each area’s situation and plan the increased or decreased number of classes accordingly.

One other proposal from the Village Chiefs was related to the construction of a “scenic pedestrian overpass” at the riverside walkway that would be connected to MRT Dapinglin Station at Minquan East St. in Xindian. The Hydraulic Engineering Office indicated that since riverside areas are governed under regulations set forth by the Water Resources Agency, all structures to be built would have to be in compliance. For this matter, Ko Wen-je instructed Department of Rapid Transit Systems and the Department of Urban Development to set up a plan and then communicate with the local residents to come up with plausible lawful solutions.

In regards to the Village Chiefs’ proposal on the pedestrian sidewalk widening for the odd-number side of Lane 282, Jingxing Rd. and improvement of traffic at Wanning St., Wanmei St., the section of Wanning St. outside the Mingmen Community at Sec. 4 Heping East Rd., Ko Wen-je has ordered the NCO and Sewerage Systems Office of the Public Works Department as well as the Traffic Engineering Office and Parking Management and Development Office of the DOT to assist in the planning and handling of the issues.

Some Village Chiefs indicated that O-bikes are scattered all over the place without proper management. In response to this, Secretary-General Chang Che-yang explained to the Chiefs that there are currently only 600-700 O-bikes in Taipei City. The DOT has been working on handling the company’s bicycles across the city.

Moreover, there were Village Chiefs who pointed out that some old house number plates had deteriorated and are now unrecognizable, and they were asking the City Government to consider their renewal. For this request, Commissioner of the Department of Civil Affairs (DCA), Lan Shih-tsung, responded, “We hope that the Village Chiefs will talk to the City Councilors in respective Districts in regard to the renewal of house number plates, so that the City Council will hopefully support related expenses.” Ko Wen-je also ordered that, in the future, the DCA should set a long-term plan for making the house number plates, which should consider the use of durable materials with easily identifiable and clear fonts.