Amjasa turn around its accounts and closes the year with 200,000 Euros profit

The Town Council approves the savings measures and remunerations proposed by the Board

Javea. Thursday, 29 December 2011. The municipal water company of Javea, AMJASA held its general meeting on Thursday evening. The session, which was held in the plenary hall, was open to the public, with the attendance of the members of the Board.

Amjasa's CEO, Josep Lluis Henarejos, presented his report of the saving measures that have been implemented since his entry into the company, allowing the company to go from a 249,689-Euro deficit balance in the first semester, to a year-end profit of between 160,000 and 200,000 Euros.

In contrast to the proposals of the previous management (extending the concession period of the desalination plant, raising the rates and maintaining energy costs), the new board embarked on another line of work that was agreed upon by all. Among the measures that have enabled this shift in Amjasa's accounts are the change in schedule for the production of desalinated water, the leak detection plan (up to 40% of the injected flow is lost, according to certified inspections), replacement of old water metres, cancellation of outsourcing contracts (consulting, legal advice, etc.) and the implementation of an energy saving plan.

Other cost-saving initiatives include putting the repairs works out to tender to local companies rather than paying a set price, reorganizing the warehouse and purchases, or renegotiating the lab analysis service. Also, the dismissal of the previous manager and the temporary absorption of his duties by the Board of Directors will also report a saving of 69,000 Euros to the public company.

The Board of Directors is made up of nine people appointed by the political parties in the government and opposition, who will receive a remuneration commensurate with their working hours. In this regard, the Town Council (with the votes in favour the PSPV, Xàbia Democrática, Ciudadanos por Jávea and Grupo Mixto) has approved the CEO (who is legally responsible for the management of the council) to perceive a salary that will cost Amjasa no higher than 42,000 Euros a year, whilst the other six members (both the Mayor, José Chulvi, and the Councillor for Water, Paco Torres have waived any pay) have a global limit of 72,000 Euros annually.

It should be noted that these are not fixed salaries, but rather remunerations that will be paid in relation to the real time put in by each board member. Likewise, it is important to highlight that none of the board members have any kind of formal labour contract with either the company or the Javea Town Hall, therefore there are no costs to social security, no paid holidays or bonus pay. Also, if the decision is reached to dismiss any of them before the conclusion of the year that has been marked as a trial period, the cost of dismissal would be zero.

With the previous system, the water company assumed the cost of the remunerations of the board of directors (with an annual cap of 63,000 Euros) and the annual salary of a manager on staff of 87,000 Euros, with all the benefits of a municipal company worker.

In addition to the economic issues, the General Meeting of Amjasa served to communicate other measures taken in recent months, such as the reorganization of the maintenance brigade to yield higher productivity, improved customer service (with a web page) and effective management of billing and collecting. To this effect, it was revealed at the meeting that the previous management had failed to collect a total of 1,246,235 Euros in outstanding bills. Another of the major goals the water company has set for itself is the selling of water to other municipalities, as well as making progress in achieving the comprehensive water cycle.

For his part, the Mayor and President of the Board of Directors, José Chulvi, highlighted the joint work of all the board members, the openness of the company to local professionals they have direct contact with, such as plumbers or estate managers, as well the website project that will allow Amjasa users to log their complaints and suggestions with greater ease.

Chulvi insisted that Javea has always treated the question of water "as a matter of state," and has overcome "crisis and droughts this way.” He therefore expects the same effort to re-float Amjasa. In this regard, he highlighted the need to increase the surplus revenue in order to reinvest in the "battered and old distribution network at a rate of about 700,000 Euros per year." In the opinion of the Mayor, Amjasa "needs to take on another direction and style in order to maintain itself as a public company, one which next year will reach 35 years as the most experienced public service company in the Marina Alta.

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