By The Star Staff
Guánica Mayor Ismael “Titi” Rodríguez Ramos said Tuesday that the municipality prepared security measures for the demolition of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Employees Association (AEELA by its Spanish acronym) Vacation Center in Playa Santa, which took place in the morning.
“Today is a historic day in the reconstruction process,” the mayor posted on Facebook. “After three years of resistance against the ravages of earthquakes, the implosion of the AEELA Vacation Center in Playa Santa was carried out.”
“From the first hours of the day, our staff has worked diligently in the planning and execution of this Logistics plan. As a municipality, we support this process, aware that our residents deserve to close this cycle,” Rodríguez Ramos added. “We will be attentive to each phase after this implosion and we will continue the fight so that the company selected by AEELA complies with the payment of the construction taxes.”
The southwestern coastal municipality, through the director of its Emergency Management Office, Carlos Pratdesaba, supervised staff and had an ambulance and rescue units, tanker trucks and rescue equipment on hand for the demolition, the mayor said.
Since last week, the municipality and its police force had been in communication with commonwealth components, including the Bureau of Emergency Management and Disaster Administration.
“This community of Playa Santa is made up of about 600 people, and we have promoted two community meetings with AEELA staff and the contractor in charge of demolition,” the mayor said.
Regarding the municipality’s claim for the payment of taxes, Rodríguez Ramos noted that the case will be brought to the attention of the Court of Appeals.
“Our request is related to the fact that this process, which exceeds the cost of about $2 million, would pay about $129,000 in taxes to the Municipality,” the mayor said. “If a school or hospital demolition pays taxes, it is fair for this Vacation Center to do its part. They are taxes that will finance the Guaniqueño communities’ services.”