Morovis’ Mayor-elect Claims Dire Debts, Unfinished Projects
Morovis’ mayor-elect, Carmen Maldonado González, denounced Sunday that the transition process revealed that the municipality’s real debts are higher than reported by the exiting administration of Heriberto Rodríguez Adorno.
“Although it was informed in the public hearings that the accumulated deficit was $783,214 by June 2016, a detailed exam of the single audit revealed that said document had been prepared using accounting formulas destined to present a lesser deficit,” said Maldonado González in written declarations.
Along those lines, she claimed that the official transition document reveals millionaire expenses in poorly managed projects that are still costing the people in loans to pay, but they don’t offer community services. She said that the most unusual case is a greenhouse project for tomato production, entrusted to an Israeli company and has cost $2,134,984 to the municipality.
“That money was borrowed from the Government Development Bank (GDB) and it is still owed. They also began a construction project to house medical office facilities while the construction process has been highly irregular. For example, we were informed that after beginning construction, a supplier tried to raise the cost because they had allegedly forgotten to add the constructor’s earnings. This is the type of things we are talking about,” explained the mayor-elect.
In the case of the medical offices, she claimed that since they were financed with federal funds, the transition committee recommended to make pertinent referrals to federal and state authorities.
Meanwhile, Maldonado González said that the city hall has an obligation contracted from a $16,382,909 bond emission, with several expiration dates that range from the present year until 2035. Likewise, she questioned that the municipality’s accounting computerized system is sub-contracted.
“We found that the municipality’s accounting books are kept in a tool (software as device) which doesn’t belong to the municipality. This is partial evidence of the lack of interest in the importance of this job. The same thing happens in the auditing office, which didn’t perform investigations about damages or loss of property or public funds to fixate responsibilities. In this new administration, each official must respond for every cent invested, for every property paid with the people’s funds. This is our responsibility and it is a sacred duty to uphold,” declared the Popular Democratic Party leader.
Morovis’ mayor-elect explained that in order to pay the “millionaire” debts with different government agencies, a fraction of the Municipal Revenues Collection Center (CRIM) monthly consignment, $87,558, would be assigned to pay obligations.
She said that the exiting administration is leaving $566,356 in debt with the Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority; $395,005 with the General Services Administration; $275,040 with the Treasury Department; $241,500 with the Health Insurance Administration; and $276,674 with the Labor Department.
“The GDB has already certified that Morovis doesn’t have a borrowing margin from the Additional Special Tax Fund (CAE) for permanent infrastructure works and equipment purchases,” added Maldonado González, which complicates the scenario.
She also accused her predecessors of partaking in an accelerated process, distanced from the municipality’s fiscal reality, by paying $100,000 in Jan. 5 for the concept of liquefying excesses to employees’ sick leave. This, even though the Law states that said liquidation can be paid until March 31, 2018.