City officials say they need an additional $17.8 million for tram work but ministry of transportation says no more funds are available
Despite the fact that Ecuador’s Minister of Transportation Paola Carvajal says the government will not provide additional funding for Cuenca’s tram project, Mayor Marcelo Cabrera says he’s optimistic that President Rafael Correa will be receptive to the request.
The request will be made Tuesday at a meeting between Correa and city officials.
According to the city, the money is needed for a parking facility, additional station work on Av. Las Americas and in the historic district, and a public education campaign.
Carvajal says the original funding of $231 million included all the funding needed to complete the project. “Money for the work the city says is unfunded was included in the full appropriation,” he said. “There will be no more money from the government.”
Cabrera counters that Carvajal does not understand the details of the funding request. “He is ignorant of all the facts and we intend to give the president a full accounting,” he says. “At this point, federal funding is our only option to complete the work we think is necessary.”
Leonardo Berrezueta, Azuay Province governor who was appointed by Correa, says the city may need to go to the international credit market to seek additional funds. “If the federal government cannot provide more funding, this would be the only alternative.”
Tram project manager Gerard Fernandez said the city prefers to have the additional $17.8 this year but it can wait until 2016 if necessary.