The full council of San Javier has ratified this Thursday the award of the drinking water contract for an amount of 247 million to Aqualia for the next 20 years. The Consistory has agreed that the current concessionaire, the company Hidrogea, will continue to provide the municipal service “until the signing of the contract for the new concession, which would take place once resolved, if any, claims or allegations that may be filed in the public exhibition period” that is now open.
The awarding of the controversial contract to Aqualia has given rise to a complaint by the Pleamar group to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which has opened proceedings as it considers that there are indications of a crime in the tender that has ended with a change of concessionaire, as reported by La Opinión.
Prior to the resolution of the tender, the current concessionaire submitted a complaint to the City Council and requested that Aqualia and two other bidders who had submitted the bids with the highest investments be excluded from the tender on the grounds that their proposals were “reckless”. Hidrogea’s claim was rejected by the contracting board.
After an initial approval in an extraordinary session, the ordinary plenary ratified this Thursday the award of the service with the vote in favour of the Popular group, the abstention of VOX and the vote against of the Socialist group, Pleamar and Mixed group.
The mayor of San Javier, José Miguel Luengo, who chaired the contracting table in which Aqualia was given the highest score in the evaluation of the tenders, said that “in a few years the municipality of San Javier will be an example in the management of water and sanitation, thanks to the improvements introduced in the new contract”.
Luengo highlighted “the investments of more than 80 million euros that the successful bidder will make over the next 13 years, half of which will be invested in the first three years of the concession and the rest in the following 10 years”.
At a press conference prior to the plenary session, the Councillor for Public Services, María Dolores Ruiz, reported that FCC Aqualia’s economic offer, which competed with those of seven other bidders, includes an initial fee of 8 million euros and a variable annual fee of 3.85% of the amount invoiced by the concessionaire, which would be equivalent to some 432,500 euros and which will be used for the execution of hydraulic works. In addition to the drinking water supply and sewerage service, the contract includes the maintenance of all the environmental tanks, rainwater collectors and pumping stations.
As for the planned investments, the councillor reported that they will start with those of greatest need, such as the diversion of drinking water supply sections in several industrial estates in La Manga del Mar Menor, starting with Veneziola, as well as collectors throughout the town and improvements to the waste water pumping stations.
Among many other works, the renovation of water and sewerage networks in the neighbourhoods of La Paz, La Fuensanta, Los Ríos, Euro Roda and several streets in Santiago de la Ribera is also planned, as well as the construction of new sewerage networks for districts without services such as La Garjuela, Lo Peña, Los Castellanos and Los Ferreles, among others.