THE car park in Garrucha will be completed, said the town’s conservative (PP) Mayor, Juan Francisco Fernandez.
A town hall spokesperson said that work will begin shortly and it will take six months to complete.
Construction began on the two-storey underground complex when the socialist PSOE party was in power at the town hall more than five years ago.
Mayor Fernandez who is in his fifth term of office, said that work on both the car park and Garrucha’s unfinished sports centre had been paralysed because of lack of funds and unbalanced budgets.
He blames the previous mayor and the PSOE party for this.
In a video interview on October 13 last year, Fernandez criticised the PSOE, and said that the car park was a symbol of how things should not be done.
He said that the project began with no guarantee of sufficient funding, and that money doesn’t grow on trees, especially in a recession.
Fernandez said that there’s not point in building big projects if you can’t maintain them, adding “I wonder who is going to pay the electricity bill, once the lights are switched on at the sports centre.” A week after the interview, he attended an event in Barcelona at which the sports centre was recognised as a finalist in the ENDESA electricity company’s “most sustainable building,” competition. It is unknown when, or if, the sports centre will be completed.
On March 12, Fernandez announced that the car park next to the Plaza Pedro Gea (Garrucha town hall square) will have 204 spaces.
The number of street parking spaces was reduced in the town centre, when the Main shopping street’s (Calle Mayor) pavements were enlarged last year. The beach town’s population, increases dramatically in the summer tourist season, and lack of parking is a hot local topic.
The underground car park is set to be completed using €990,000 from the council’s 2012, 2013 and 2014 budgets along with funds from the Diputacion de Almeria (provincial government).
Fernandez said the final cost of the project will be less than €1.2 million, and that a number of companies have already shown an interest in managing the car park on its completion.
By Susan Leach