Underground car Park

This page contains news clips from this Wiki pertaining to Xàbia's two Underground car Parks in chronological order (oldest at the top)

August 2008

Old Town Demands

On 27th August 2008, the Association of the residents and businesses in the Old Town had an extraordinary meeting, at which they approved a document to be presented to the next Plenary Town Council meeting on August 29th. They demanded ….Surface parking

700 surface parking places had been eliminated to create 900 places in the new underground car parks and the people wanted compensation. They wanted free parking outside and a monthly charge of €30 to use the underground car parks (current charge €85) From full document see: The Old Town Demands

April 2009

Town Hall approves cost overruns of 4.5 million Euros to ECISA

April 29th
ECISA (http://www.ecisa.es/) is the big construction company which built Xàbia's two underground car parks, the new ring road around the old town and the new Council buildings. Initial cost was to have been 18 million Euros. ECISA received compensation of 440,000 for not building an underground car park in the Port. It also has the car park rights for 40 years and we are now having to pay 4.5 million extra in project overruns. From Xabia al Dia : El Ayuntamiento aprueba… (More background information about this on this Wiki shortly)

September 2009

Xàbia Town Hall thinking of buying the two underground car parks

September 23rd
The fact that hardly anyone is using the Old Town's two underground car parks is costing Xàbia a bomb. The contract with the constructor, ECISA gives it a 40 year concession to run the car parks, with a guaranteed occupancy of 30%. Any shortfall is made up by the Town Hall coffers. The lower car park (Portal del Clot) has an average occupancy of only 0.22%, while initial predictions were for 17%. If things carry on the way they are, the town will end up paying some 46 million Euros for something people do not even use. Buying the car parks outright will cost around 20 million Euros, though the Town Hall will also be responsible for mantenance and management. Thus both ruling coalition and opposition are getting together to see if they can come to a consensus decision about what to do. From Las Provincias: Xàbia estudia….

October 2009

Catalogue of irregularities in the underground car park contracts

October 22nd
At the emergency council plenary meeting held on Tuesday, the opposition Socialists revealed a catalogue of irregularities relating to the awarding of the contracts for the underground car parks. These include:
1. bills relating to the preparation of a feasibility study by the company CAT (Consultora de Actividades Técnicas), two years before they were awarded the contract. (Curiously these bills were provided in evidence to support the €400,000 compensation for not building an underground car park in the Port) ;
2. Only a single tenderer for the contract (ECISA) which appears to be hand in glove with CAT (in contrast the contract for the desalination plant which involved the University of Alicante, the Polytechnic of Valencia, Ministry of Public Works the Ministry of Environment, and 12 leading companies); Incidentally CAT and ECISA have been awarded two projects under the State Investment fund, including the glorieta roundabout at Cala Blanca, which will be decorated with a statue donated to the Town Hall by the director of ECISA.
3. Contradictory clauses in the contract: On page 44 it says that the concessionaire assumes all risks and responsibilities in running the car park, while on page 50 that the Town Hall is liable if occupation figures fall below a certain level.
4. Unseemly haste in the the contract awards process which was initiated in high summer under the mayorship of Juan Moragues and ended in the middle of the 2005 "catastrazo" crisis which resulted in a motion of censure and replacement of Moragues with Eduardo Montfort.
The Socialists want more meetings to debate this issue further and to see if there are grounds to refer the case to the anti-corruption prosecutors. From XAD: El PSPV denuncia… and Las Provincias: El PSPV de Xàbia…

December 2009

CAT and mouse game?

December 30th
The Socialists expressed disquiet that the firm "Consultora de Actividades Technicas" (CAT) - has won a contract (Under the Valencian "Plan Confianza") to re-tarmac some Xàbia roads. This company had been responsible for the feasibilty study for the underground car parks, and had been paid an invoice for work before it was even awarded the job. This anomaly is currently being investigated. CAT's tender for the tarmac contract was the cheapest of six, but was only 100 Euros lower than the next cheapest bid. See XAD: El PSPV…. http://www.xabiaaldia.es/politica/el_pspv_desaprueba_la_adjudicacion_de_la_redaccion_del_proyecto_de_renovacion_de_viales_a_cat-2228.html

February 2010

Xabia obliged to pay for unused underground parking

Feb 11th
The town is trying to find ways out of the underground parking cost problem. At present Xàbia has to pay around 1 million Euros a year to the car Park managent company in compensation for underused parking. It was hoped to be able to wriggle out of this one by pointing to contradictory clauses in the contract. Namely, that the management company is supposed to carry all financial risk on the one hand, while being entitled to compensation for under-use on the other. Unfortunately the contract was drawn up by the Town hall, so it can't argue about being unfairly treated. Much argument continues on what the most sensible (and cheapest) solution might be. From XAD

May 2010

Wiggle room for Xabia in the underground car parks?

May 4th
Independent legal advice from the Consell Jurídic Consultiu de la Comunitat Valenciana (supreme legal advisory body in the Comunidad Valenciana) seems to provide a glimmer of hope for a possible resolution to the dilemma of Xàbia's empty, and thus expensive, underground car parks. There is a legal principle that the concessionaire should undertake some risk, which is clearly not currently the case, the Town hall being lumbered with all the costs. The advice says that the town hall has an option to re-negotiate the contract to re-aportion the risk. Another alternative is to terminate the concession by mutual agreement taking into account true public interest. They also ruled that feasibility studies carried out by the contractor before it had been awarded the contract should not be paid for. They also criticised the feasibility study for the car parks, as being economic and financial rather than concerned with real feasibiltiy, since the project assumed 85% occupancy of the two car parks. Las Provincias: El Consell Jurídic…

July 2010

Underground parking company claims €22,000,000 compensation from Xàbia

July 23rd
Xàbia's undergound car parks are a bottomless pit of nasty surprises. Earlier we had been given to believe that the town had to pay around 1 million a year to compensate ECIS (the company which built the car parks, and which has a concession to run them for 40 years) for under use. So, come the end of the second year, the Town Hall had figured on having to have to cough up some 1.8 million Euros. However, ECIS has presented a bill for 22 million, broken down as follows: 12 million for under use of the car parks, a sum which results from a re-interpretation of what "85% full" is; 3.5 million because expectations in the business plan have not been met and 6.7 million because the Town Hall has created new, free, above ground parking places in the catchment area of the car parks. (Note: all free parking near the car park area was supposed to have been removed, however this has not been done. Also, in a move to stop parking on the pavement in the Virgen de Los Angeles, the Town Hall recently created a free parking area in Calle Ribes Angel Mestre, about 450 metres away from the underground car park in the Plaza de la Constitución See June story From Las Provincias: La Empresa….

October 2010

Xàbia to offer 14 million Euros to buy the Underground Car Parks

and will be at its limit of indebtedness to do so

October 29th 2010
The mayor has announced his intention to offer ECISA the equivalent of 14 million Euros to purchase the two underground car parks. ECISA had wanted over 20 million, but based on the Contractor's work certificates the Town Hall has calculated that 14 million is the true value. The Contractor has yet to agree. To make the purchase, Xàbia will have to take out a bank loan of 12 million Euros, which would bring the town to its legal limit of indebtedness. The two million short-fall would be made up of 9 plots of municipal land in the Capsades/Rafalet area, which were to have been used for social housing.

The Mayor hopes that once the car parks are in municipal hands, the people would be less antagonistic towards them especially if the parking tariffs are lower. The Portal del Clot car park could be used for long term rental, while the one beneath the Plaza de la Constitución would be the main public car park.

ECISA has done well out of work for Xàbia. As well as constructing the car parks it refurbished the Old Town ring road and built the new Town Hall buildings (yet to be occupied) for 22 million. Recently it also landed a contract to build the new Social Centre in the Port for €831,900. From XAD Xabia lleg... and Las Provincias: Xàbia claudica y...

November 2010

Town hall rushes to obtain loan to buy Car Parks

Xàbia debt will cost taxpayers €5.8 million annually

Nov 14th 2010
The Xàbia Governing coalition has called an extraordinary plenary session for next Tuesday 16th November at 8.00pm, to endorse formally the approval of acquiring a loan of 12 million euros. ( nicknamed hipotecazo ) for the purchase / rescue of the Ecisa underground car parks. (… this after the plenary session of October 7th agreed unanimously to pay "not a Euro more" for the car parks) The the measure has already passed through the Finance Committee with the coalition approving, the Socialists and Nueva Javea against and the ex- NJ Councillor (Oscar Anton) abstaining. Municipalities are legally allowed to have a debt of up to 125% of revenue and Xàbia's debt will exceed €42 million with an annual cost to the taxpayer of €5.8 million. Banks now have ten days to present their loan offers which will be presented to another plenary council meeting before the end of the month. The coalition has stipulated some conditions for the loan, most notable of which is that loan repayments will not start until April 2012, which will leave a poisoned chalice for the incoming local government, to be elected in May next year. Haste to obtain the loan is necessary because the recent Royal Decree to deal with the economic crisis not only cuts the salaries of municipal workers by 5% but also stops municipalities from obtaining new credit as of January 1st 2011.
From XAD BLOC y PP convocan....

December 2010

Xàbia to fork out around €20million for the Car Parks


December 22nd 2010
The decision to rescue the underground car parks is going to be very expensive to Xàbia's tax payers. The Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday heard that in addition to the €12.1 million there will be €6 million in interest and costs on the loan.
The meeting approved the loan agreement, which still must be ratified by the full council. The lending banks are: Santander, which will contribute half, while BBVA and the CAM will be responsible for providing the remaining 50%.
The Town will pay off the loans over the next 20 years, with an annual outlay of €950,000 until 2020. By 2030 the loan will have been paid off. Add to this the € 1.2 million to be paid to ECISA expected from the sale of land plots in Rafalet and the grand total reaches around €20 million.
A consultant has prepared a tariff and economic study and concludes that "the project is economically viable because the net income in the period covering 50 years from 2011 is considered positive at €66.40 million."
The Finance Committee also approved an ordinance regulating parking prices. One minute will cost 1 euro cent, and long-term parking agreements will be priced at € 22,590, which does not differ much from that offered by the current concessionaire.
The Council is expected to ratify this loan agreement, the re-classification of the Rafalet land, and the new parking tarifs at a meeting on Thursday 23rd .
From XAD: Xàbia acabara.... and El Jueves... and Las Provincias: Xàbia compra...

December 2010

Opposition vows to continue fight against purchase of Car Parks

December 26th 2010
The ruling coalition has approved the final stages to purchase the underground car parks. The two opposition parties, Nueva Javea and the Socialists could do nothing except vote against, but have decided to join forces to fight at the administrative, political and legal levels so that the "residents of Javea should not spend a penny more". They noted that in the end, the car parks would have cost the developer ECISA zero Euros while the town will have paid a total of €38 million for a business that will generate losses for 20 years. They have submitted an application to review the council meeting agreement of December 2, which approved the modification of credit to include €12 million euros for the purchase of the car parks. The Mayor defended his decision saying that it might be right or wrong, but that the law professor Gonzalez-Varas had said in his report that given the situation, the purhase was recommended. The Mayor explained that if Xàbia had to go to trial against the company, it could take years, and there was no guarantee that the town would win the lawsuit. The purchase of the concession would "liberate the people of all these threats" because a condition imposed on ECISA was to withdraw all claims against the Town Council. The ex-Nueva Javea councillor, Oscar Anton was not present at the meeting.

A question from the public caused some embarrasment to PP Councillor Juan Moragues, who had been mayor at the time when the car parks project was undertaken. They asked whether the record had been investigated to rule out any irregularities or errors and asked Moragues, if he had any business with Ecisa. The politician denied any "direct link" with this company, although he has an exclusive promotion of 94 apartments in the new Marmara block in the Arenal, which was built by ECISA, as can be seen from His website..... From XAD: Un ciudadano... and Las Provincias : Xàbia ECISA pact.... Levante focuses on the issues surrounding Moragues Ex Alcalde...

December 2010

Lawyer publicly supports Town Hall stance on the Car Parks

But admits ECISA may not have much of a leg to stand on

December 31st
The last issue of Més Xàbia, (the Town Hall bulletin) includes an interview with Santiago González-Varas, Professor of Administrative Law at the University of Alicante, and counsel for the Town Council in the process of "rescuing" the underground car parks. In the interview, which supports the ruling coalition's explanation of why the car parks should be bought, the lawyer explains what this process is, and in which cases it applies, stating that "the Town takes action to ensure the continuity of public services and optimise management, "it is" better than keeping a concession with continuing losses."

However González-Varas emphasised that the final decision is with the politicians and also let slip that he thought that ECISA had no right to demand economic rebalancing .

For more see: Car Parks- Gonzales-Varas Interview


cartoon by Fernando Soler: http://www.xabiaenvinyetes.blogspot.com/

January 2011

Bomb shell for BLOC

Environment Councillor opposes purchase of Old Town Car Parks and resigns.

Jan 27th
Xàbia's Councillor for the Environment and Services, Doris Courcelles, has broken ranks with her party (BLOC) and submitted a letter asking for the decision to purchase the Old Town Underground Car Parks to be revoked. She states that she now sees her vote in favour as a mistake and that she had not been sufficiently informed of the consequences. Also, a decision which is so important should be made with the consensus of all political parties. Mayor Monfort said that everyone is entitled to change their minds, but then added that she "could have spoken to me directly or in a private letter." The letter calling for the revocation of the bailout decision is being studied by the legal services to see how it can be resolved and if it is necessary to have a new Plenary Council Meeting on the issue. From Las Provincias: Una edil del BLOC.... Doris later resigned her post as councillor. (From Press Release)

January 2010

Socialists challenge legality of land sale for Car Park purchase

Jan 27th
The Xàbia Socialist PSPV party has presented a complaint against Xàbia Town Hall to the Department of Environment, Water, Planning and Housing for "breach of the law on municipal heritage land." This motion will also be presented at the Town Council plenary meeting this evening at 8.00pm.

According to the socialists, the Town Council plenary meeting of 23 December, which approved the purchase of the underground car parks, "violates the provisions of Article 259 of the Valencian Urban Development Law (LUV) and Article 544 of the Regulations on Administration and Territorial Management and Urban Development (ROGTU), in effect it constitutes an abuse of the legal destination of funds raised from the sale of municipal heritage land." The Socialist spokesman Jose Chulvi explains that proceeds from the sale of land which was originally destined for social housing can only be used for the purchase or construction of such houses.

They therefore ask for the decision to sell the land to buy the car parks to be revoked. If this does not occur, the Socialists ask to be heard before an administrative court and request an interim suspension.
From XAD: El PSPV pide....


Cartoon by Fernando Soler http://www.xabiaenvinyetes.blogspot.com/

February 2011

Ecisa still suing Town Hall for loss of Car Park earnings

Feb 24th 2011
The Alicante Court of Administrative Disputes has asked Xàbia Town Hall to forward the full administrative file of the Underground Car Parks concession and to appear in person in the case brought by Estacionaments Urbans of Xàbia SL. The Ecisa subsidiary which runs the car parks, filed a complaint against the Town Hall plenary decision of October 15, 2010. This decision rejected an application for economic rebalancing estimated at 22 million euros for losses incurred during the first two years.
This news is curious because the mayor of Javea, Eduardo Monfort said that if the town went ahead with buying out the lease for the car parks, Ecisa would drop all court cases against the town. However administration is slow, and the purchase has not yet materialized, although it has been approved by a subsequent Town Hall plenary meeting. Also the opposition is doing everything possible to halt the process. From this point of view, this news would serve the purpose of reminding Xàbia that the company still remains a threat, and that the consequences of failing to rescue the car parks are unpredictable.
In other words, this sounding is a warning to sailors that the ship's captain may change next May.
From XAD: La Causa por la que….

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