Vega Baja mayor denounces lack of action on renovation of 15 rec facilities
Vega Baja Mayor Marcos Cruz Molina
By THE STAR STAFF
Vega Baja Mayor Marcos Cruz Molina on Sunday denounced the lack of action on the part of the Department of Recreation and Sports (DRD by its Spanish initials) and the General Services Administration in expediting the reconstruction of 15 recreational facilities under the ownership of the DRD that remain in a deteriorated state from damage caused by Hurricane Maria, which struck Puerto Rico six years ago this coming Wednesday.
“September arrived and we are still waiting for the bidding process,” Cruz Molina said. The reconstruction projects have been in the design phase for months and to this day the bidding process, which should have begun in May of this year, has not been finalized.”
Bidding processes are still pending at the General Services Administration.
The affected facilities are: Alturas, Jardines, El Rosario, Villa Real, El Verde Bo. Pugnado al Fuera, El Guárico, Monte Carlo, Barrio Sabana, Parque Urbano 2-Urb. Las Flores, Estancias de Tortuguero, Urb. Las Flores, Brasilia Bo. Caribe, Urb. Colinas del Marques and Urb. San Vicente.
Faced with the situation, Cruz Molina, along with personnel from the Municipality of Vega Baja, visited the DRD offices on Sept. 6, where they were received by Secretary Ray Quiñones. At the meeting it was agreed to start the bidding for three facilities: Alturas, Jardines and El Rosario, and it was also decided to initiate the roofing processes of the Villa Pinares and El Verde basketball/volleyball courts.
“After three years, in less than five minutes the DRD authorized the municipality to re-roof the courts of Villa Pinares and El Verde,” Cruz Molina said.
During the meeting, La Fortaleza was contacted to accelerate the bidding processes of the three facilities in the General Services Administration.
“Reconstruction projects usually take time as they go through different stages such as: auctions, contracting, permitting and construction, and thus finally finish for the enjoyment of the community,” Cruz Molina said. “However, six years have passed and there are still facilities with debris left over from Hurricane Maria.”
Cruz Molina added that “the aforementioned facilities do not correspond to the Municipality, but to the DRD.”
“They are the owners and they are responsible for the funds for their renovation,” he said.
The renovation project has an allocated budget of $5.9 million. “We have the commitment of the Governor and the secretary of DRD, who expressed his greater willingness, but we need execution because nothing has happened in order for the facilities to be ready for games,” Cruz Molina said.