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OPINION
Paving the Road to Nosara: a 3-Year Delay is Unconscionable

By Edward Jeffries

Nosara has been our vacation destination of choice for six years and after an exhaustive search we finally settled on a piece of property for our home. We felt the time was right: prices had softened, we identified the perfect parcel and as an added bonus, President Chinchilla had just given a speech in Nicoya stating that the paving of the road from Samara to Nosara would begin in July of 2011. Granted, word had been circulating since we started coming here that paving would start “next year”, but the tenor and tone of the announcement led us to believe that this time would be different.

Now, nine months after her announcement, we learn that while the engineering and blueprints have been prepared, the legislature must now approve a $70 million bond to Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (Interamerican Bank) to pay for the actual construction. And the source at Casa Presidential now says that this project will now not start until 2014. Which now begs the following questions:

In July of 2010, the funds were identified and earmarked for the paving of the road between Samara and Nosara does this statement simply mean nothing since the funds were not “approved” by the legislature? And since they were “earmarked” for this project and now they no longer exist, for what project will they be used?

Seventy million dollars? In the United States, to construct a 2 lane road typically costs between $2 million and $3 million per mile. So to pave the 17 mile route, we should be looking at between $34 million and $51 million plus the cost of river/quebrada crossings. Note that these figures are what it costs in the US. not Costa Rica. So while material may be more expensive here, the construction (labor) component is far cheaper.

With regards to the $70 million figure, above:
 
What is the width of the current unpaved public road per Ministry of Transportation planos? It is understood that the minimum requirement for the width of this road is 15 meters and that some property owners have encroached into this space.

Is there a cost assumed for expropriation of property along the route that is included in the $70 million estimate? 

The intention of this letter is not to underestimate the difficulty faced by the Administration or the Ministry of Transportation in identifying projects worthy of an investment as substantial as this. However, a 3-year delay to this project is unconscionable. Nosara is now the second highest contributor of annual revenues to the Canton of Nicoya. We contribute more than Samara, which has the benefit of being connected to Nicoya and the international airport by a paved road, yet our property tax assessment rates and our annual automobile registration fees are the same, but the sad state of roads is a hindrance to our property valuations and we also are saddled with costly monthly repairs to our vehicles.

At a minimum the request should be made to the Ministry for regular maintenance of the dirt road instead of twice or three times per year and this one large project should broken up into a series of smaller more manageable ones of perhaps 7 or 8 kilometers each.


 

More Community News

“Circo del Mar” Arrived to School Serapio Lopez

On June 14th Del Mar Academy students shared their talent show, “Circo Del Mar” with the Serapio Lopez students. The show, which originally debuted on April 15th at Del Mar Academy’s campus, was inspired by the environmental theme for the 2010-2011 year – Water Conservation. (with video)

Parenting Today:Using Math Every Day

Many parents have asked me how to help their child with math. Instead of looking at multiple equations and worksheets, think about math in every day situations. Wherever you go, whatever you do, math is all around. 

Samara residents try to reclaim plaza for soccer

Every community in Costa Rica has four cornerstones: the church, the school, the community hall and the soccer field; well—almost every community. For the past seven years, Samara has been without a proper soccer field.

Bandera Azul Recognition
– El Torito y San Fernando Schools Earn Blue Flags for Cleanliness
Carrillo Beach proudly displays the Bandera Azul
– Samara Beach Working Hard

Just the idea of winning a blue flag is enough to motivate students to stop littering, to pick up trash and to recycle, making both their schools and their communities cleaner.

Municipality Plans to Open Office in Samara

Mayor Marcos Jimenez confirmed that the Municipality plans to open an office in Samara during the first week of July, although opening the office requires much preparation.

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