During the current financial year the City Council of Pilar de la Horadada will have to 2.7 million euros in compensation for the cancellation of the cultural centre of La Paloma.

The Supreme Court has denied an appeal filed by the Town Council and confirmed the original finding that requires the Council to compensate the company Urdemasa-Intersa with 2.7 million euros for its lost profits in being unable develop the underground parking lot when the cultural centre project was paralysed because of rising costs almost 10 years ago.

The undergound garage is currently underpinned by scaffolding
The undergound garage is currently underpinned by scaffolding

The ruling is a serious blow to the municipal budget which must now revise the entire draft budget for 2020 to pay the judgment.

To date the municipality has spent 3.6 million euros on the cultural centre and parking of La Paloma since 2001, including the demolition of the figure of the dove on the rooftop when it became unsafe because of its abandonment and subsequent deterioration.

Construction first began on the new cultural centre in 2001 with a budget of just 2.1 million euro, but it was never completed and over the years proved to be little more than a monument to the greed and over spending of town halls across Spain at the beginning of the century.

In addition to last weeks judgement there is a further appeal pending because of the stoppage of the works of the cultural centre where the constructor is claiming another 2.5 million euros so the semi abandoned building could end up costing the town hall 8.8 million euros and it is still no closer to completion than it was all those many years ago.

Mayor José María Pérez (PP) expressed his concern about the judgement saying that it now endangers projects such as the multipurpose centres of La Torre and El Pinar which are unlikely to go ahead.

He says that “he is worried that he will not be able to carry out important and necessary projects in the municipality “such as repairs to the infrastructure damaged by the DANA and the storms, the multi-purpose centres in Pinar de Campoverde and Torre de la Horadada, or the new auditorium and cultural centre”. One option currently being considered is an increase in taxes although this is an possibility that the mayor does not mention in his statements.

The sentence “ruins all our plans” he concluded.

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