Mayor’s order and last minute deal keep the lights on in government offices in Cuenca
The federal government said it will pay $300,000 this week to Cuenca’s public utility company, ETAPA, on its debts to keep utilities connected.
Last week, ETAPA threatened to cut off electric, water and internet service to government offices and institutions, including the University of Cuenca, if the bills were not paid. ETAPA said that most government officers were more than three months late in payments, and as late as six months in some cases.
The government said it needed more time to “review and organize” its payments and said that the current economic crisis was partly to blame. Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera interceded on Thursday, before the federal government announced this week’s payment, and ordered ETAPA to maintain services until an agreement is reached.
According to ETAPA, the largest amount owed is by the national sports federation which is almost a million dollars in arrears on utility payments.