Federal government donates property to cover tram construction shortfall
Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera announced Thursday that most of the budget deficit for Cuenca’s tram system will be covered by proceeds from the sale of government property near the city’s industrial park. He said that President Rafael Correa has agreed to donate the underutilized military base to the city.
The announcement was made at a ceremony recognizing the 196th anniversary of Cuenca’s independence from Spain. Esteban Albornoz, Ecuador’s Energy Minister and Correa’s representative at the event, confirmed the agreement.
According to Cabrera, sale of the property will generate $25 million to $30 million, with the remainder of the $35 million tram shortfall to be made up by the city. The mayor said the property will expand the industrial park and that there are buyers lined up to purchase it.
“I want to announce that the president understands the importance of the tram to Cuenca’s transportation plan and has given the green light to the project,” Cabrera said. “Speaking for the city, I want to thank him for his understanding and generosity,” Cabrera said.
Albornoz voiced Quito’s concern about delays in tram construction but said he is confident that the city will work hard to complete the project in a timely fashion. “I am assured that the mayor will make the right decision in moving the train forward.”