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“American Project” Asada’s Financial State a “disaster”
• Public drinking fountain installed, bringing potable water to Playa Pelada

By Arianna McKinney

Photo by Pinar Istek

On February 20, the Playas de Nosara ASADA water board, often referred to as the “American Project” ASADA, held a meeting assembly to let members know how things stand financially and resolved to send two new rate change requests to ARESEP, the Regulatory Authority for Public Services (Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos).

The ASADA provides water to about 550 meters in Guiones, Pelada and surrounding areas.  However, only 16 people attended the meeting in addition to 6 members of the board. Peter Burke, vice president of the board, ran the meeting and categorized the ASADA’s financial state as “a disaster.”

The financial report revealed that the expenses during 2012 were 165,918,434.21 colones (about $331,836), including depreciation of assets, whereas regular income with the current water rate is 45,407,698 colones ($90,815).  However, the ASADA gets a boost from impact fees and the additional voluntary fees that about 80% of water users are paying.  This gave the ASADA an additional 97,546,670 colones ($195,093) of income during the year.

Overall, not including depreciation expenses, the ASADA reported a cash loss of about $6000 for the year, leaving them with about 46 million colones ($92,000) in the bank.  Facing an overall loss, the ASADA assured that if they have more than one major expense, such as if one of the 14 pumps or one of the nine wells fails, that would completely drain the account.

The ASADA board has been working to get the electrical bills reduced.  Last year they achieved getting the rates for all but one of the pumps lowered to the lowest rate.  They are now trying to get ICE, the electric company, to exempt them from the 13% tax on the electric bill, which would lower the bill by about $1000 in dry season, when the bills are as high as $9000 per month.  They have also cut staff positions to reduce expenses.

On a positive note, Burke reported that an engineering study being conducted of the ASADA’s infrastructure and capacity estimated that at a projected rate of 3% growth the ASADA’s pumps have sufficient capacity for the next five years and the tanks have enough capacity for 10 years, although growth of more than 3% would reduce that timeframe. The study has been conducted during the past six months by Engineer Freddy Humberto Zuñiga and should be completed this month. 

The ASADA Board is awaiting the results of the study in order to determine how much of a rate increase would be necessary to cover operating expenses, and approved motions to rescind previous letters to AyA requesting a return to the previous special rates that were in effect prior to 2009 and instead submit two new requests to increase the water rate to whatever amount is suggested by the study and to set the impact fee at $10 per square meter (about $1 per square foot) of the interior of the construction as well as an impact fee for pools based on water capacity.

In addition, Burke said that, as required by law, the ASADA installed a public drinking fountain two months ago in the neighborhood around Olga’s Bar in Playa Pelada, where pipes donated by AyA (Aqueducts and Sewers) were recently installed to make it possible to connect 36 families who live in the area within the Ostional Wildlife Refuge to the ASADA’s water system. 

While families in the neighborhood are trying to raise enough money to pay the required fees for water hookups, the ASADA has sent a letter to AyA to express concerns about the septic systems in the area and consult the government organization about legal requirements such as a registered plan for the land, which many of the families may not have.


More community news

Los Arenales Fiestas Raised Almost $6K for Asphalt

The Fiestas held in Nosara last Saturday March 23 to help raise money for Los Arenales asphalt preparations work collected almost $6000 out of the $28000 that the community need.

MOPT Starts Pavement of Route 160

Pavement is coming for those who live along route 160. Since March 19, machinery from the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) entered the communities with the objective of partially paving 8.5 kilometers.

Community of Los Arenales Organizes Fiesta to Pave Main Road

Even though pavement is arriving to Nosara thanks to an agreement with CONAVI, not all of the costs are covered. In the Los Angeles neighborhood, neighbors need to raise 14 million colones ($28,000) to widen the main street and build curbs and gutters, so they decided to organize a fiesta this Saturday, the 23rd, to collect the funds.

Low Interest in Samara to Have More Police Presence During Easter

On Monday, March 18, the Samara Chamber of Tourism (CASATUR) called a meeting in the community, inviting more than 400 locals, residents and business owners, in order to plan for 20 additional police officers that the Public Force had offered during Easter Week.

New Nosara School Foundation Already Working On The Playground

Some students from Serapio Lopez School in Nosara had to spend the first day of school sitting on the floor of their classroom. Fifth-grader Lara Schussler, 10, said, “It was really sad and uncomfortable.” Ashley Ruiz, 11, also in fifth grade, added that it was hard for them to concentrate on the class while sitting on the floor.

Bureaucracy Delays Process for Ministry of Security to Take Charge of Tourist Police Station Rent

Since last year, the Nosara Security Association has been trying to get the Ministry of Security to take over payments of the rent for the tourist police station in Guiones, but delays in paperwork have held up the process and now the association is almost out of money, once again renewing concerns that the tourist police might have to leave town.

Coming to the Americas from China: One Family’s Story

The wind kicks up the tin roof panels overhead, banging away while we speak. I sit scribbling fervently into my notebook as Xenia Waigui Chan tells me her parents’ peculiar story: How a Tico and Chinese woman got caught up in history and landed in Nicoya.

Costa China: Two Loves, Two Hearts

In mainland China, the festivities surrounding the Chinese New Year are intense and raucous, but here in Nicoya it is a much quieter affair. On Friday, February 8th, I gathered with about 70 people for the celebration of Chinese New Year at El Presidente Restaurant, which was closed to the public for the special event.

Samara’s Library Relocated

Playa Samara’s public library has found a new home. The library is housed and operated by a local non-profit organization, La Asociación CREAR, whose new office is now located opposite Intercultura Language School next to the beach.  

Las Olas Condominium Project with New Owner

For more than five years, the unfinished condominium project Las Olas has been an eyesore in Guiones, but that is about to change, as the property has finally been sold and orders have been given to tear the structure down

Young Ballerinas in Guanacaste Pass International Exam

For the past three years, young ballerinas in Guanacaste have been studying dance in conjunction with the Royal Dance Academy of London, an international institution for dance, and for the past two years they have participated in the annual international ballet exam to receive recognition for having attained a certain level of proficiency such as pre-primary, primary, 1st grade or 2nd grade.

Nosara Asked for More Security on National Television

On Monday, March 4, the Channel 7 news program “Telenoticias” broadcast around the country a 7-minute news item titled “Wave of Thefts in Nosara Generates Anxiety and Insecurity in Neighbors in the Area.”

Telenoticias interviewed locals on case of thief released by judge

Channel 7 Telenoticias sent a news team to Nosara Feb. 26 to report on the local uproar following the release of a burglar caught red-handed inside a house at Playa Pelada, and almost 100 concerned residents appeared at the Casa Tucan during the videotaping to show their outrage. 

DMA delivers school supplies in Nosara area

Starting February 28, Del Mar Academy community service committee (CSC) start delivering supplies and clothes to children in need to the schools of Nosara, Santa Marta, Garza, Esperanza, Santa Teresita, Los Angeles and Delicias.

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