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Wildlife

Servicentro Nicoya Under Scrutiny for Closing Passageway and Possible Illegal Construction

By Oliver Pérez

Servicentro Nicoya, located 100 meters from La Anexion Hospital, is under the watchful eye of the Municipality of Nicoya, the Controller General of the Republic, the Environmental Court and residents of the El Carmen neighborhood. 

The scene darkened for the owner of the gas station, first for the construction of a location next to the Matambo River and, second, because he closed a path that neighbors were using for more than 50 years.  Alfredo Montoya Carmona, who filed a complaint in the municipality, affirmed that he had been using it since 1962. 
 

In the July 10, 1995 session, the Municipal Council declared this path an easement of passage, but two years ago the owner of the gas station, Ulises Avila, closed it. On May 31 last year, Mayor Marco Jimenez requested in writing that the owner immediately open the right of way; however to date the door remains closed.    

VON contacted Ulises Avila by telephone on May 24. Upon consulting about the closure of the right of way, he sent us to review the property’s plan. When viewed, the plan does not show an right of way easement.     

“The municipality doesn’t have to get involved in this because the plan makes very clear that there is no right of way easement,” explained Avila. 

Nonetheless, residents of the El Carmen neighborhood were using this passage to cut through to the hospital and the courthouse, and schoolchildren from Santa Lucia neighborhood passed through there to get to the Cacique Nicoa School. That way they saved walking 300 meters. 

Doubts About Construction
Regarding the case of the construction on the edge of the Matambo River, last July the Controller asked city hall for a report about this work where today a gym is running. According to records of the municipal engineering department, they don’t have construction permits for this location and for a shed that diminish the passageway of the easement

For his part, Avila affirms that he built these locations legally and that all of the permits were approved, including the land usage. 

“Rather before initiating the construction, I moved it over half a meter to avoid problems. Whoever has doubts, here in my office are the construction plans for the property.  There is no problem,” declared the businessman.    

Municipality denounces possible contamination
The most recent report was given by Elizabeth Fernandez, coordinator of the environmental department of the Municipality of Nicoya. She informed the Director of the Governing Area of Health of Nicoya, Xinia Cordero Vargas, that in a visit made to the site this year on March 19, she verified that untreated residual waters from the gas station arrive at the river.  
  
“It was observed that this liquid gives off a strong odor, similar to the wax that is used for the autos. We consider that we could be facing the presence of something affecting the aquatic ecosystem, a product of what is poured out from this establishment,” indicated the environmental coordinator.

The mayor, Jimenez, in an official letter dated October of 2011, requested an appraisal from the Division of Commercialization of Fuels, Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (MINAET), to suspend the authorizations of transportation and commercialization of fuel for this service station, since this location is classified for building public offices, according to the regulatory plan that is in force. But to date, no resolution has been reached even though seven months have now passed.

 

More Regional News

Pictures and News of the Month

The Voice of Nosara brings you a brief recap of June stories you might have missed.

Montaña River Flooding May Wash Away Bridge Fill

The concern is twofold for the residents of Nosara when it comes to transit routes in their community. The roads are in poor condition and the Moñtana river bridge is unfinished.

Ministry of Health and Municipality Look to Eliminate Street Venders

Friday morning, June 22, a group of officials from the Ministry of Health and the Municipality of Nicoya decomissioned merchandise from a group of women street venders that display their products in front of the Court of Justice in the city of Nicoya. 

Wealthy US Citizens dumping Passports to Avoid Tax in Costa Rica

As taxes continue to rise in the United States, the upcoming expiration of the Bush Administration tax cuts and a proposed 55 percent tax increase on the horizon for the wealthy, an increasing amount of the United States’ wealthier population is disillusioned.

Health Department Shuts Down Artisan Tables in Samara

On Friday, June 22, representatives of the Ministry of Health shut down the tables where local artisans have been selling their wares. This is the second time the artisans have been shut down and left wondering where to go or what to do to continue working and supporting their families. 

Representative Mendoza Supports Nosara’s Demonstration

Juan Carlos Mendoza, legislative representative of the Citizen Action Party (PAC-Partido Acción Ciudadana), recently visited Nicoya. VON took advantage of the opportunity to talk to Mendoza and get his opinion about the possible demonstration by Nosarans and the project of the Costal Territories law. 

About 2000 From Nosara Will Protest on July 25th
• Demonstrators Will Demand Pavement for Route 160

Members of different social and community organizations from Nosara will march to Nicoya July 25th to request that the government incorporate pavement over route 160 in the budget. 

Commission Reports that 90% of Proposed Regulatory Plan is a Cut and Paste Job

On Wednesday, June 6, the Administrative Commission of nine community representatives presented an extensive report to the Municpal Council of the Canton of Nicoya, recommending that the council completely reject the proposed regulatory plan elaborated by the Spanish company Inypsa.

Nicoya Mayor Will Protest Against the Government on July 25 Celebrations

Marco Antonio Jimenez Muñoz, mayor of Nicoya, Guanacaste, announced that he will protest against Laura Chinchilla Miranda’s government, on the Day of Annexation because of the "deplorable state of national roads in this area.”

Pictures and News of the Month

The Voice of Nosara brings you a brief recap of the May stories you might have missed.

The Order to Close Pedregal is for Land that Was Not Being Exploited

Several Nicoyans are asking themselves how is it that the company of Pedregal can continue to work on the site of La Calera, at the entrance to the city of Nicoya. The reason is that the Environmental Administrative Tribunal, which ordered a temporary cessation of Pedregal in Nicoya, made this resolution due to a second site where the company was working in 2009.

Nosara’s Economic Forecast Looks Sunny

As the dust from dry season settles metaphorically and literally, merchants and business owners in Nosara are counting their spoils.

Rising Prices Hurt the Pocketbook

First the price of gas went up, next the price of bus tickets and finally the government added a 13% tax on products in the basic food basket. It’s time to take out the calculator and grab the pocketbook because everything is going up in price and your bill could reach an unforeseen amount. 

Mystery of E.Coli in Carrillo’s Estuaries Goes Unsolved

This year Carrillo only earned one star instead of two in the Ecological Blue Flag program because of a study that revealed high presence of E.Coli in the beach’s estuaries. Although so far the ocean water is still safe for swimming, that could change if action is not taken to find and remedy the problem. 

Nicoyan Auditor Owes Municipality 15 Years of Taxes
• Municipal Council Approved Sending Case to the Controller
• Official Was Suspended for Three Months

At the same time that ministers of the Republic have been under investigation for evading taxes, the internal auditor of the Municipality of Nicoya, Gilberto Lizano Elizondo, has also been under investigation for evading real estate taxes since 1997, as detailed in a report by the directive organ that investigated the case.


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