The election of officers to the Water Board (ASADA) of the American Project, planned for Feb. 11, was postponed after lawyers discovered legal errors in the constitutional documents that established the ASADA in 2004.
The error can be corrected and the documents for that period can be rerecorded, but until that is done only the memberships of the 12 founding board members from 2004 are currently valid, according to the attorney for the ASADA, Andres Gonzales Anglada. Therefore, all those holding water meters will have to reregister with the ASADA in order to vote, he said, because their current registrations are invalid.
Water meter owners must provide a legal document in order to register with the ASADA. If not present in Nosara, they can give their proxy to someone who can vote for them, although the process can be cumbersome.
Challenges to the large numbers of proxy votes were expected Feb. 11, but the larger legal issue precluded that from being addressed. A notification will be sent when the new date for the election is decided, said ASADA President Rick Walker.
Presidents Office Contested
The President’s seat is being contested by architect Olivier von der Weid, a 16-year resident of Nosara, while the other six voting Board seats are uncontested. The current Board includes preservationists and developers who have differed on issues including whether a moratorium on new meters is needed or is legally sanctioned under Costa Rican law.
Von der Weid said the ASADA needs new leadership. “I would like to see the ASADA of Nosara working on a more professional basis. Costa Rica is catching up on implementing all the rules and regulations and we won’t be able to continue to do things the old way. What I really don’t want to see is the ASADA spending all their money in lawyers’ fees or worse, having the AyA from San Jose take over the management of our water system.”
He continued in a statement to Voice of Nosara, “The theme of the moratorium is complicated because as we learned at the last meeting from the lawyer of AyA, we need a proven scientific reason to be able to deny water to anybody in Costa Rica. I would like to see the data, gathered by the board and employees of our ASADA, reviwed by a hydraulic engineer so we can know for sure what is our situation with the delivery of water to our community, present and future.”
Certification of available water has been a prerequisite for obtaining construction permits, although authorities in Nicoya recently began issuing permits without the water meters. The ASADA lifted the moratorium in a 4-3 vote on Feb. 3, and a new 350 cubic meter water tank which went online February 22 is expected to improve the system’s capacity, which is strained by high dry season usage, including pools and gardens.
Attending the meeting were officials from the Liberian regional office of AyA, (Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados), the Costa Rican agency that regulates local ASADAs, including Mikal Chaverria, head counsel for AyA for all rural ASADAs, and an engineer, Edgar Ortiz. In response to questions from the group of about 80 members gathered for the election, Ortiz clarified the rules that an ASADA must follow in order to declare a moratorium on issuing new water meters, when demand outstrips supply.
Ortiz said that moratoriums on new meters must be approved by AyA, based on a study of well flow rates submitted by a qualified engineer. He said the ASADA had not followed this rule before imposing the moratorium.
Walker said the ASADA did study its capacity to deliver water, and presented it in May, 2009, to AyA in San Jose, although not with a registered engineer, and his figures show that there was not enough capacity for new construction projects.
Without a moratorium, water rationing is the option if the infrastructure cannot meet the demands of users, Ortiz said.
The $100 septic inspection fee levied by the ASADA in 2009 was also questioned, and Ortiz said it was not imposed according to the rules set by AyA, although the ASADAs are charged with protecting ground water. Walker told the Voice of Nosara that he appreciated the AyA clarifying their rules and that he was confident that the rate and fee structure would eventually be approved.
More Regional News
New Immigration Law Seeks to Legalize Foreigners
The new Immigration and Foreign Services Law (Migración y Extranjería), number 8764, will come into effect on March 1st., and with it a series of changes that the foreign community residing in Costa Rica must comply with.
This law was passed as a result of the Government’s need to control migration flow in a more efficient way. It clarifies different issues such as residence requirements and how to integrate the foreign community into the country in the best possible way, as long as they observe the new regulations. More >
OIJ Suspects Arson in Ostional Home Fire
On January 26th 2010 the Agency of Judicial Investigation (OIJ) in Santa Cruz detained three men of surnames Ruiz, Zúñiga and Gómez for being suspected of having burnt two cars and the house of the former Ostional Association of Development president, Gilbert Rojas, in the beginning of December 2009.
Hours later, the three detainees were set free, but with preventive measures such as not leaving the town and signing in at the Santa Cruz Court every 15 days while the investigation is concluded. More >
Ostional Now Has New ADIO Leaders
“Regain trust and reunite the town”; this is the main objective of Ostional’s Association of Integral Development (ADIO), as expressed by newly appointed President Magdalena Lara Vega. More >
Elections 2010 Guanacaste Results – Two of the elected legislators are being questioned
During the past elections, the Guanacastecos elected four legislators who will work for Guanacaste’s development. The Liberacion Nacional party obtained three of the four seats for Congress, with the Nicoya-born physician, Luis Antonio Aiza, a businesswoman from Liberia, Maria Ocampo, and Luis Fernando Mendoza, an expert in political sciences from the town of Cañas. The other seat belongs to the Movimiento Libertario party, which elected Ernesto Chavarría, a stockbreeder from Nicoya. More >
Elections 2010 – The Community Opinion
What do you expect from the next Government?
That they stop benefiting large corporations, giving them all types of subsidies. They make duty-free zones and the businesses pay nothing. What they do is come here and give mediocre jobs to Costa Ricans and the government celebrates as if what they are doing is a great aid. The reality is that little by little we are losing our natural resources and autonomy. More >
Airport Crime – Nosara Businessman Sentenced
to 18 Years for Homicide
On February 25th The Judicial Court of Nicoya sentenced 54-year-old Nosara businessman Jorge Arturo Sirias Sequeira to 18 years in jail for the homicide of 22-year-old Maikol Rojas Murillo.
The events occurred the night of April 19th, 2009 in a street adjoining the Nosara landing strip.