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Court sets a precedent?

2018-05-15T11:42:38+00:00

For many years Mazarrón Council has claimed that Camposol, Sectors B,C and D were not their responsibility and still the responsibility of constructor/promotor Justo y Manoli SL (MASA), as the urbanisation was incomplete and had not been adopted by the Council, they also refused to accept any responsibility after the CRA pointed out that in 2011 the then Council Governing Board sacked Justo y Manoli and in doing replaced the promotor and became liable for the completion and maintenance of the whole urbanisation, the Town Hall’s position was re-stated by the current Mayoress (even though she was part of the previously mentioned Governing Board) as recently as December 2017, even arguing that an open letter written by Mayor Francisco Blaya Blaya in February 2011 confirming the facts had been over ridden by the subsequent Mayor Gines Campillo, although the current Mayoress could not provide any documentary evidence to support this statement, in a Court case in early February 2018 the Totana Court of Arbitration dismissed Mazarrón Council’s defence and ruled that they owed Aqualia, the water company, for all unpaid invoices from 2011 for work carried out on the urbanisation, the Mayoress has stated that the Council will not challenge the ruling, here is a translation of a Spanish press article covering the Court findings:-

The Council is ordered to pay 1.4 million for work on the sewer network of Camposol
The Town Council argued that it could not approve the cost of the work carried out by Aqualia in the urbanization from 2011 to 2013
Now “They will pay every last cent” the Mayoress of Mazarrón, Alicia Jiménez, confirmed yesterday that the Town Council will comply with the judgment of the Court of Arbitration number 3 in Murcia that ruled that the Council must pay Aqualia the sum of 1,007,802 euros for the work performed on the sanitation network and drinking water supply of the Camposol urbanization. The ruling allows for an appeal, but the Mayoress stated that they will not exercise that option because “we are already working to see how the payment can be included in the next 2018 Budget”.
The works were carried out from 2011 to 2013 and the ruling also includes late payment interest, for which the local Administration must reimburse close to 1.4 million euros. Jiménez indicated that they are negotiating with Aqualia for the “least harmful” form of payment for the municipal coffers.
The sentence, once again shows the problems that the residents of Camposol have had to endure, mostly retired British, who invested the savings of a lifetime in the houses of the macrourbanización. In fact, the court emphasizes that the Council’s Governing Board on January 28, 2011 agreed to “dismiss the urbanisation’s current promoter/developer” that being the company Justo and Manoli, “given the state of poor sanitation of the water supply and the wastewater treatment system”.

The pumping stations were not working and were discharging into several ramblas (Riverbeds)
Health Guarantee
The Municipal technician responsible for Health and Environment issued a report warning of the “discharge of untreated urban wastewater into various riverbeds in the area.” The situation was so unsustainable that without having managed to adopt the maintenance of the urbanisation, the Town Council commissioned Aqualia, the water service company, which, “as an emergency”, carried out the required works “so that the situation would not further deteriorate and health would be guaranteed”.

The series of “deficiencies observed in the works development” in the first phase of the El Saladillo Plan Parcial went from pumping stations that did not work “to the absence of any recorded plans for the infrastructure to be able to proceed with the verification, conservation and maintenance of the network”; even some of the storm drains “were jointly connected with sewers to the riverbeds”.
The aforementioned Governing Board commissioned Aqualia to take actions such as “repairing faults in the drinking water and sewerage network, corrective cleaning of networks and pumping stations, sampling and analysis, maintenance of the generators etc”.
The provisional measures ended up becoming fixed work orders, from 2011 to 2013, and when the water service company claimed 1.8 million for the works, the Council rejected the invoices because “the expense listed were impossible to compare with the actual works done”. However, the court criticizes the Council indicating “it did not carry out any monitoring of the work, so was not in a position to accuse the appellant of not carrying out the work and refuse payment of work that was carried out”.

Also emphasized in the testimony, was documentary evidence and the report of the judicial expert, that the inferred ‘protocol’ in case of breakdowns was ‘call Aqualia immediately’. Additionally, within the Council “no system was established to remunerate for work done on the infrastructure” and the company was limited to apply “average market prices.” So the judge “recognizes the right” for Aqualia to be paid for the outstanding invoices plus interest, valued at about 1.4 million.