The Municipal Sports Center (CDM) of Orihuela Costa will reopen with all the services it offered before it closed in the middle of last year after the previous UTE awarded the management closed without notice the facilities of the Costa sports complex, leaving dozens of users they were left without services such as the covered and heated swimming pool, the paddle tennis courts, the soccer field, basketball, gymnastics or tennis. In June 2019, the City Council decided to break with the UTE for breaches of the contract. Since then, as the consistory of monitors and lifeguards lacked, only a caretaker guarded the facilities. The Councilor for Sports, Víctor Bernabéu, announced this Tuesday that the CDM will be launched in the next few days after resolving the procedure for awarding this service to the Vectoris SL company. The total amount of the contract is 877,337 euros (VAT included) and will have a duration of two years, extendable for another. In this sense, the mayor of Sports has stated that “we comply with our commitment to offer the best service with all guarantees to the residents of the coast and users of these facilities with their imminent opening.”
The contract includes sports programs, activities and schools, rescue and first aid in municipal swimming pools and auxiliary services, maintenance, cleaning and access control and surveillance in the sports facilities of Orihuela Costa. Bernabéu has highlighted that this new contract will provide 22 jobs, between janitors, maintenance and cleaning services, lifeguards and technical director.
The mayor of Sports has explained to INFORMATION that the council that he directs has not wanted to get the contract for more years “due to the bad experience we have had with the previous company, and with that time we will see how it works and the real demand that citizens have of the coast”. “I took the reins in the month of August 2019 and what I did was open the facility so that the clubs could participate there with a concierge.” It is expected that all the services that stopped being provided last year will be resumed once the procedures have been carried out with the Contracting and Intervention area, what is expected for the middle of next December. What users demand the most is the opening of the pool that in this period of time that has been closed, the City Council has had to maintain the engines and water to prevent their deterioration, but that it could not open due to the lack of personnel.
The decision to maintain the privatization of public space, the only facility of these characteristics for a population of about 30,000 inhabitants, ignores the requests of coastal residents who demanded that the municipality take over the sports facilities. The City Council rejected the municipalization of the service because it would involve putting out a huge job bank, such as lifeguards or monitors, which would greatly increase the cost of personnel in the budgets. The UTE had an administrative concession that also allowed it to collect fees, and the City Council paid the difference between what they collected and the expense they had to keep these facilities open and offering the service, something that has now been eliminated by opting the City Council for the administrative concession, direct management in which the company provides staff and maintenance, and this is how the majority of facilities of this type are in all of Spain.
Same prices as the rest of the facilities
Users of the Costa sports complex will pay the same rates as those of the rest of the sports facilities in the municipality. A demand from the residents of Orihuela Costa who complained that the prices of the Orihuela Costa municipal sports center were significantly higher than those of the sports facilities in the urban center and the districts. In addition, the sports clubs of Orihuela will not have to pay to train at these facilities.
The Councilor for Sports recalled that in April 2019 the company that managed this service abandoned the management of the Municipal Sports Center “and we had to take the reins to keep these facilities open, since during these long months different clubs in the area and users they have been able to enjoy their sports activities in this magnificent center “, while he has also emphasized that the Department of Sports has conditioned the three paddle tennis courts, which have been completely changed since “they were destroyed”, said the mayor, and other spaces that were very deteriorated.
In addition to terminating the contract with the UTE in June of last year, the City Council initiated a sanctioning file to claim more than 782,000 euros, and he kept the 50,000 euros of deposit. Among the damages that the City Council claims are 682,083 euros (plus VAT) for the breach of the construction of a 1,000-square-meter multipurpose building (which should include a weight-training and cardio-fitness room, another gym, warehouse and changing rooms) as promised in the contract specifications, plus the interest arising from non-payment at the time the contractual resolution becomes effective. Furthermore, due to the excess profit or extraordinary income generated from the operating account, the City Council estimates an excess pending compensation of 100,731 euros. The operation and comprehensive management of the services of the municipal sports center was carried out by three companies that won the contest in November 2010, but the City Council accused them of having breached the specifications, which is why, since August 2018, they have not paid the invoices that presented (which represented about 200,000 euros per year). The consequence is that the UTE stopped paying its 22 workers their payroll and closed the facilities. The City Council initiated a contract resolution procedure. The consistory maintains a contentious with the UTE for this reason.
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