The Cultural and Tourist Center “El Mirador” (The Lookout) has the best panoramic view of Salinas Bay, but today, graffitis on the walls, the roof about to fall, the stagnant water and mold clouds that landscape.
The space has an amphitheater, an elevated pedestrian bridge, a restaurant and a store for the sale of handicrafts.
Randall Chinchilla, head of the police delegation of La Cruz, said the place became a meeting point for people who use drugs. The delegation even developed a plan to make frequent visits and monitor the space.
Since last August, the City Hall has had a security officer from 10 p.m. to protect the property. However, due to lack of budget, the place is unprotected during the rest of the day.
“It is a pity to see the infrastructure in these conditions, I say it more than anything as a citizen of the canton. I think that if the place really started to work, I believe that this [use of space for drug consumption] would be eliminated, ” said Chinchilla.
Not for much longer
La Cruz City Hall hopes not to give more time to the abandonment and estimates that the remodeling works, which will allow the Center to start operations again, will start in November.
Junnier Salazar, mayor of the canton, said that the local government has already budgeted an amount of ¢52 million to rebuild the building.
“We know that this sum of money is what we need because the planning area of the municipality made a detailed report of costs and repairs that must be made,” the mayor added.
A long way
The municipality granted this center in concession in December 2015 and it was in operation until April 2018. Ariana Badilla, a municipal attorney, explained that the concessionaire did not provide any maintenance to the property and did not cancel any of the monthly rentals.
The concessionaire owes the sum of about ¢34 million, an amount that the municipality must recover through a new collection process.
In response to the lack of payment, the lawyer said that when Mayor Junnier Salazar took office in 2016, he began an administrative procedure to cancel the concession to the tenant of the lookout, so the place would return at the hands of the City Hall.
“The case was elevated to the Contentious Administrative Tribunal. We had to follow the due process and, while that happened, the municipality could not intervene the place,” said Badilla.
In May, 2018, the Courts decided in favor of the City Hall. Now, the lawyer explained that a bidding poster is being worked on to find a new concessionaire interested in putting the facilities into operation.
“We give it in concession because at the administrative level it is not profitable for the municipality to operate it,” said the lawyer.