Friday 27th August 2021 – CARLOS LÓPEZ with Mike Smith
Xàbia Council has been fined 2,500 euros by the Júcar Hydrographic Confederation (CHJ) for discharges from a municipal treatment plant, specifically the one in the Guardia Park area, which were detected in 2014 as well as compensation of 4.17 euros for damage caused in the public domain.
During the plenary session held on Thursday, the spokesperson for the Partido Popular (PP), Rosa Cardona, and that of Ciudadanos, Enrique Escrivá, referred to this matter which was part of the mayoral decrees and the consignment (and payment of the amount) to the CHJ.
In that decree, to which XAD has had access, the evolution of the project to improve the installation that was to serve to stop the spills was included, approved in November 2014 and the contract awarded by the governing board in November 2018. However, in November 2019, the contract was terminated for reasons attributable to the contractor and in December 2019, the winning company files an appeal for reversal.
The account of the events contained in the decree concludes with a clear sentence: “There is no evidence that new actions have been taken after the last one indicated“. Faced with this complaint and the payment of the fine, which also requires 4.17 euros to be paid for damages caused to the public hydraulic domain, the PP asked the local government “to reactivate the work as soon as possible”.
Councillor Isabel Bolifer (Town Planning) explained that the winning company “presented allegations” that she acknowledged “need to be answered” and admitted that “it is our fault and [the fine] has to be paid because the EDAP (treatment plant) is not in a good condition”. She added that the project has not yet been reactivated “since you know – Rosa Cardona – how the contracting department is doing”.
Enrique Escrivá expressed his concern that the spills that were subject to the sanction in 2014 continue to occur and questioned the councillor responsible about what it being done to avoid it. Bolufer responded that “the only way to avoid them is to do the work that was commissioned” and that she has ordered the contracting department to “put the project out to public tender again”.
Towards the end of Thursday’s plenary session, during the Q&A session, Rosa Cardona (PP) returned to the issue of the wastewater treatment network, although this time she was referring to the sewer network project that was due to begin in Camí del Castellans on Monday. She said: “I have prepared a series of questions that we ask ourselves from the PP and the residents ask themselves to see if you can solve them”.
When it was suggested that a lack of information and transparency was demonstrated during the plenary session and the councillor herself answered “I think not” to the question on whether residents had to request a license to connect to the sewer network. She then explained that the meeting about the project that the local government convened earlier in the month “was only for the residents who face Camí Castellans” and that they had sent out “about 30 letters were given to those in Calle León, Calle Lastres, Camí Castellans, which is why they all came and the meeting consisted of “all foreigners, no-one spoke Spanish and each one went about his own thing”.
Bolufer said that an email was sent to all the residents to resolve their doubts and claimed that “we told them that on the 30th we would talk to the contractor, he would give a price per metre, and all they had to do was make that connection, If you want to do it now, or if you want to it later”. She added that “we told them that we would do the consultation and would hold a meeting on how much it will cost and clarify with each one of them how they should do it. And so we remain. We are waiting for the contractor, who is on holiday. Then we will summon them and we will tell them”. She also insisted that “if you are within 100 metres, you have to connect”. It is the first time that the local government confirms in a resounding way this municipal order, approved in the Sanitation by-laws.