The mayor of Iznalloz advances from his pocket 16,000 euros so that there is no lack of water

The lack of money in the municipality of Granada prevented doing the necessary works to avoid cuts during the summer

The subsoil of Iznalloz, in the province of Granada, has plenty of water. And nevertheless, in the last summers, when opening the taps in the high part of the locality the result was a thread of water. Or worse, nothing. Since the end of July, the problem belongs to the past and the liquid element flows smoothly in all the houses of the town, those above and below. Mariano Lorente, the mayor, took the matter as a personal issue. So personal that, in the absence of money in the municipal current account, he chose to pull his own savings to solve the problem. Something more than 16,000 euros has cost Lorente to pay the materials necessary for the water to flow at its discretion.

Iznalloz is 40 kilometers from the capital of Granada, at the foot of the Sierra de Arana. Thanks to this saw, precisely, water is abundant in the area. The difficulty, according to the mayor, is that “yes, we have a lot of water, but almost never superficial, but in the subsoil, more than 200 meters deep.” That requires expensive wells because they are very deep and some distance from the town. Lorente, of the PSOE, explains that “before summer, the town had four wells and a small water source”. Enough for winter but not for summer, according to Lorente. The town, with just over 5,000 inhabitants, needed a new source of water. And, in fact, she already had it – the previous popular corporation started it – although it was not operational because there was only the survey itself. The engine and the pipes that took the water to the municipal reservoirs were missing. It cost, says the current mayor, of 120,000 euros and there he stayed. Now he needs another 108,000 euros to use it.

That survey is some distance from the town and Lorente says that his first option when he arrived in June at the mayor’s office was to finish that infrastructure. However, at the first exchange he came face to face with reality. Endesa, he says, gave him a period of six months to put the transformer needed for the motor to run. Lorente then opted for the fast track: a well near the town that was available in a few weeks. Without money in the bank and with the summer on top, the mayor signed a “timely justification, an emergency action decree that allowed me a certain margin of discretion in hiring.”

Lorente looked for a local company that did the survey. So far there were no problems. “He immediately found the 15 liters per second we needed.” But the water had to be raised and transferred to municipal deposits. When they went to buy a pumping engine and everything necessary, he found that Iznalloz did not have a good reputation among traders. They did not serve him if it was not with the money at the counter: “The money or the bomb does not leave the warehouse,” they told him. “That was impossible. We had no money in the bank and the previous corporation left us with a debt of 2 million euros and 700 days of late payments. In July we still didn’t know how to pay the payrolls for May, ”recalls the mayor. Without money or credibility in stores, the municipal manager did not see many options. “I decided to pay it myself. There was no other. Either I was paying it or the people of Iznalloz were going to spend another summer with water problems. ”Lorente details the bill:“ 8,500 euros for the pump and another for 300 meters of cable, pipes, a switchboard, etc. . ”Something more than 16,000 euros has been the final account of suppliers.

The problem now is to recover the money. These economic maneuvers are not an easy matter to digest in public institutions, where all expenses carry their file, their code, their section, their chapter, their prior approval and, above all, their previously available money. Lorente doesn’t seem to be worried and says he never really worried about how to get his money back. “But there are ways,” argues the mayor, who leaves the solution in the hands of the intervener and the municipal secretary. “They will know how to do it. After all, all purchased material is already inventoried as municipal property, ”concludes the first mayor. Like many other bills in the municipal drawers, that return is also pending.

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