CARIBBEAN BUSINESS has learned that the
renovation of the new Municipalities Federation headquarters in
Puerta de Tierra has ground to a halt following a dispute with
contractor Cesar Diaz.
The federation’s adviser, Pablo Rivera, explained the
controversy involves disagreements over the contract and
construction plans. He refused to provide further details since
the dispute is awaiting trial. The project’s completion was
slated for this summer.
Last year, the federation, which groups mayors from the New
Progressive Party (NPP), received a $1.1 million loan from Banco
Popular to build new office space, a meeting room, and a parking
lot for 12 vehicles. “The first floor will be turned into a
for leasing. The past president [Mayor Hector O’Neill]
recommended this as a way to cover the federation’s investment
in the property,” said Rivera.
Rivera explained the organization bought the property during O’Neill’s
presidency, but no transaction figures were disclosed. The two-story
building is located on Ponce de Leon Avenue, a block away from
the Popular Democratic Party’s Mayors Association.
“One of our most important tasks is to attend public hearings at
the Capitol building,” said Rivera. “Many of [the federation’s]
mayors regularly visit central government agencies in the
metropolitan area to promote their projects. Having these
Puerta de Tierra will help to carry out our duties better.”
Carlos Mendez, current president of the federation and mayor of
Aguadilla, said he is confident the construction works at the
headquarters would be resumed soon and expects to move the
federation operations to Puerta de Tierra by year’s end. “We’re
working to complete this project with the same strength that we
fulfill our duties in Aguadilla,” said Mendez.
The federation’s headquarters were formerly located in the
Capitol Building in Hato Rey, but it were sold in the late
1990s. The organization leases office space in Guaynabo and has