The Mayor of Ayamonte Antonio Rodriguez Castillo was kind enough to receive InfoAyamonte on this wet and windy Tuesday 7th December.

InfoAyamonte: Not a nice morning out there today, thank you for opening up a slot for us.

Mayor Antonio Rodriguez Castillo: It’s my pleasure; my door is always open to anyone who wants to know about Ayamonte. Hopefully this heavy rain will clear towards the end of the week.Mayor

IA: I see you haven’t taken the long weekend like many others have.

Mayor: It is a very busy time of year for us in the town hall and we have been working hard all year.

IA: The Christmas lights were switched on over the weekend as well as the opening of an ice rink for the first time in Ayamonte. Has it been hard to organize these activities in the current economic climate?

Mayor: It has been harder than previous years and we have made a huge effort to make sure Ayamonte is decorated properly for the festive period but at the same time we have done so without excesses. The Town hall has collaborated with local business people and what we call “PYMES” small and medium size companies, to bring the ice rink to Ayamonte this year.

IA: To be honest with you I didn’t think Ayamonte could afford an ice rink this year and I have heard rumours of the cost of setting up an ice rink for the Christmas period.

Mayor: You may have heard the unfounded rumours of hundreds of thousands but I can tell you exactly how much the rink has cost the town hall: 5,000 euros with the PYMES also adding another 5.000. After that is up to the company running the rink.

IA: It has also been said that the new agreement with Giahsa whereby the town hall will give the concession of the drains and water infrastructure over to Giahsa will see our water bills jump next year by over 30 per cent. Is there any truth in this and how will this affect our water bills?

Mayor: First of all I would like to point out that this agreement is similar to those which have been made by other town halls in the province. It will see a much needed injection into the town hall funds, 8.8 million Euros to be exact. This money means that the town services, street sweepers, town hall workers, green areas, gardens can be kept, as well as paying some of the providers of services to the town hall. I don’t see why if other town halls can avail of this funding we should not. As for the water bills the normal household monthly use is 13-18 m3 and the price increase which was agreed on November 12th will see an extra €1.50 going onto these bills. You have to remember that water rates have been frozen for the last 3 years but as you can see this is nowhere near the increase that has been rumoured.

IA: Sticking with the water theme, what is happening with the port of Ayamonte project?

Mayor: We will soon see the work start on the ferry terminal building and hopefully before the end of the year we will call a press conference to present the plans for the promenade which will go basically from the international music monument to the ferry. Like all projects we have carried out the corresponding geotechnical studies but are just waiting for the paperwork to be approved and passed so we can move onto the next stage in what is a 7 year project.

IA: What about the marina in Costa Esuri it seems to have gone quiet?

Mayor: Michael you know me and I want you to quote me exactly word for word on this “As the Mayor of Ayamonte I am telling you that today December 7th 2010 that the Marina in Costa Esuri will be built”.

IA: So when can we expect the first stone to be laid or should I say the first hole to be dug?

Mayor: Various environmentalists have lodged complaints against the project and they are in their right to do so. These have to be and will be resolved. Costa Esuri will be radically distinct once the work begins on the Marina.

IA: Many of my resident readers live on Costa Esuri, what’s in the pipeline for Costa Esuri.

Mayor: Some time ago we spoke about the school bus and that’s now a reality, we are currently looking at having a bus connection from Costa Esuri to Ayamonte. There is of course the question of the medical centre which will be similar to the one already implanted in Punta del Moral. And we are currently looking at the implantation of a tourist attraction close to Esuri.

IA: What kind of tourist attraction are we talking about?Finca Cabezuelas

Mayor: We are looking at the possibility of the water Park which will be located in La Finca Cabezuelas. We have various parties interested and we are looking at a possible extra roundabout just off the main roundabout as you enter Costa Esuri so as not to have major traffic problems especially in summer.

IA: Roads, roundabouts, some of my readers have asked about the bank guarantees taken out by Fadesa at the beginning of the construction of Esuri. These guarantees for the infrastructure are coming close to their end, can you tell me what’s happening with them?

Mayor: Here is the documentation of where we have asked these guarantees to be extended and also the guarantee for over 1.7 million to be impounded. It important or should I say fundamental that we work in a positive fashion in Costa Esuri but we also need to talk about the enormous value Costa Esuri adds to Ayamonte.

IA: Martinsa Fadesa went into administration but unluckily for Ayamonte so did Begar the company responsible for building the Congress centre. Will it be finished soon?{rokbox title=|See Congress Centre Here| size=|854 505| album=|demo|}{/rokbox}

Mayor: Begar have handed their contract over to Jarquil who are now in charge of the works. There are just over nine months left for the completion.Congress Centre

IA: So we may see an opening for the Ayamonte Festivals next year?

Mayor: It has the full backing of the town hall, local business people and Huelva council so I would like to think it will be ready for then.

IA: I see there are plans for a new shopping centre also in Ayamonte.

Mayor: More of a commercial centre as it will have a hotel, petrol station and of course shops with top brands all located close to the motorway.

IA: Do you think these are needed in Ayamonte?

Mayor: If we have investors who want to invest in this area and these investments can make the whole area more attractive to the visiting tourist or resident, I do think they are needed. This commercial centre will create jobs both in the construction and running and will also compliment the already existing industrial estate.

IA: Changing the subject completely, Torre Canela has been restored and I have had the pleasure to visit it myself but a lot of my readers haven’t had the chance how can they get to see the fully restored tower?

Mayor: All they have to do is ask for an appointment in the Casa Grande so they can view Torre Canela.

IA: Thank you for your time. Is there anything you would like to say to the inforayamonte readers?

Mayor: I would just like to say that Ayamonte has a bright future and we at the town hall will continue to work in the same direction we have been doing since I took office in 2007. What is important is the cohesion of all the residents of the areas of Ayamonte: Pozo del Camino, Costa Esuri, Ayamonte and Isla Canela both territorially and socially. Also I would like to wish all your readers a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year 2011.