Row­ing canal re­mains empty months af­ter coun­cil her­alded new dawn for trou­bled com­plex

Costa Almería News - - Front Page - By Richard Torné

Cuevas coun­cil’s highly trum­peted plans to trans­form the town’s dis­used row­ing canal and turn it into Europe’s lead­ing ca­ble ski­ing fa­cil­ity looks no closer to be­com­ing re­al­ity months af­ter a con­tract to run the in­stal­la­tion was awarded to a Pol­ish-owned firm.

The lo­cal au­thor­ity an­nounced in July that Luna Ca­ble Park had been granted a 35-year li­cence to run the “big­gest ca­ble ski­ing in­stal­la­tion in Europe”, stat­ing that the com­plex could be up and run­ning by Novem­ber fol­low­ing a €1.7m re­fur­bish­ment.

But al­most four months on the site re­mains empty, with no sign of staff or the 600-me­tre long ca­ble ski mech­a­nism. In ad­di­tion, there is now a ma­jor wa­ter leak to con­tend with, due to a bro­ken pipe which has been spilling silt into the canal for more than a week.

Sports coun­cil­lor Miriam Quin­tana this week ad­mit­ted to CA News that she did not now know when the com­plex would open, adding that the com­pany had yet to hire all the nec­es­sary staff. In an as­ton­ish­ing ad­mis­sion she also re­vealed that the ca­ble ski mech­a­nism was still un­der con­struc­tion. She said: “Right now the firm is clean­ing the area and has placed an or­der for the ca­ble ski, but I don’t know when it will be up and run­ning.”

This reporter can con­firm there were bin lin­ers filled with rub­bish stacked against the main build­ing, al­though no staff were at the site last week. There was also ev­i­dence of dam­age to some of the in­stal­la­tions. Sra Quin­tana went on to con­cede that bro­ken or miss­ing wiring and pipe-work had not yet been re­placed. De­spite this, the coun­cil has not is­sued the firm with a dead­line to com­plete the work.

Crit­i­cism about the pro­ject was voiced in Septem­ber by the coun­cil’s coali­tion part­ners in the Ci­u­dadanos party. Coun­cil­lor In­dale­cio Modesto said he had been against award­ing the con­tract to a for­eign com­pany. He also cast doubt on the prom­ise of jobs and was crit­i­cal about the ten­der­ing process as only one other firm had tabled a bid to run the fa­cil­ity.

Photo: Richard Torné

The premises re­main empty

Photo: Richard Torné

Wa­ter and silt from a bro­ken mains pipe has been seep­ing into the row­ing canal for days

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