Bill filed to pass Sun Bay resort lands to town of Vieques

By John McPhaul

The New Progressive Party minority leader in the island House of Representatives, Rep. Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Núñez, announced the filing of a measure this past weekend aimed at transferring, free of charge, ownership of the lands of the Sun Bay resort in Vieques to the administration of the offshore island municipality.

“We believe that the current Vieques municipal administration can implement a plan to promote multiple social and economic projects -- such as micro-businesses -- in the Sun Bay spa area, one of the most precious jewels on all the Caribbean coasts that is a source of attraction for tourism, local and international,” said Méndez Núñez, the representative of District 36, which includes the municipalities of Río Grande, Luquillo, Fajardo, Ceiba, Vieques and Culebra.

The bill orders the Committee for the Evaluation and Disposition of Real Estate Properties to evaluate the transfer of the land free of any cost.

Currently the facility is operated by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER).

“Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit Sun Bay Resort every year to enjoy its placid waters and unique landscape,” the former House speaker said. “The municipal administration cannot fully benefit from this unique attraction in the region as it is owned by the central government. For this reason we file this piece of legislation, to facilitate the transfer of this spa, including its current facilities and buildings.”

The joint resolution establishes that the Vieques municipal administration will have to submit detailed reports to the DNER for each concession contract signed, as well as submit detailed regulations to the agency on how it will manage the spa facilities.

Likewise, the sports facilities of the Recreation and Sports Department would be transferred to the municipality under the bill.

The measure also emphasizes that the Municipality of Vieques will have to guarantee and maintain public access to the spa area at all times.

The facilities include restrooms, camping areas, kiosks for the sale of prepared foods, picnic tables and parking.

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