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Construction of the band shell halted

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

The construction of the band shell, Foro San Carlos, has been halted by the local administration because the structure is unstable and could collapse. In addition, some have argued that the construction costs were inflated and that the licitación (bidding process) was not done correctly.

Edgar Bautista, director of Urban Development, commented that there is an overload on the tubular supports of the concha acústica that could cause major damage if the problem is not fixed. He said that to determine the damage a close examination will be conducted by a structural specialist, and he will suggest a course of action.

Felipe Cohen, director of Civil Protection, said that the duty of his department is to protect people, so they have to inspect all the construction sites where residents and visitors will eventually congregate. According to Cohen, when they found out about the damages and risks at the Foro San Carlos they decided to halt construction until a report from a responsible specialist indicates that there are no risks to the public.

Jaime Labrada, the municipal treasurer, commented that in the first stage (of three) of the Foro project 13 million pesos were invested, and for the second stage only 2 million out of the 8 million needed have been approved. Information from the municipal comptroller states that the costs were inflated by 6 million pesos in the first stage alone. Labrada said that it is the responsibility of the local government to get the financial resources but also to supervise the work, and not just leave the responsibility to the contractor. He added that the licitación will be investigated because the process may not have been legal. The concha acústica project is under audit and Labrada said that the city council could start legal action against those responsible.

The band shell is a project from the 2009–2012 administration headed by Luz María Núñez Flores. With the band shell the government was hoping to attract more tourism by organizing events with international appeal. The band shell is being constructed by Tegusa S.A de C.V., and the total cost is estimated at 21 million pesos.


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