Luis “Kiki” Aponte, a spokesman for the group, said in written statements that Mayor Julio Alicia is putting selective pressure on merchants to vacate their businesses.
A group of traders from the Cattaneo urban area denounced the municipal administration’s classification of several buildings and businesses as “public nuisances” to forcibly confiscate them and force legally operating businesses to close their doors.
Mayor Julio Alicia selectively pressures merchants to vacate their businesses, issues inappropriate fines, claims they don’t have permits, and delays processing their applications, Luis “Kiki” Aponte, a spokesman for the group, said in written statements. Municipal patents as a pressure mechanism.
This merchant, who has a food and beverage business in the urban center and includes several neighboring establishments, confirmed that he had made approximately $50,000 worth of improvements, including paying building taxes to the municipality of Cattaneo without suspecting that the municipal government would force him to vacate the building.
In the same way, he noted, the municipality is trying to forcibly expropriate some developers who have acquired abandoned buildings, and redesign them for businesses and short-term rentals.
“Now, suddenly, and without any communication or dialogue on the part of the municipality, they are confiscating companies that operate, without submitting documents, under the pretext of building a library, without submitting any documents. “It should be noted that there is actually a new, empty, unused library very close to downtown in the Boardwalk area,” Aponte said.
He added that the Cataneo Municipal Council held a meeting on September 7 to approve the expropriations on a “fast track” basis and did not inform developers or traders. When uninvited merchants arrived who objected to the mayor’s plans, the session was postponed.
He pointed out that two real estate businessmen, Ted Richan and Ari Krish, tried on multiple occasions to communicate with the mayor and his lawyer to discuss this attempt by the municipality and obtain clear information. He denounced the municipality’s failure to respond to the letters sent to the mayor’s lawyers, and their unwillingness to give face to merchants or developers.
He confirmed that both Messrs. Rishan and Krish have photos and evidence of communications that were ignored, as well as the municipal library that is not being used.
Aponte announced that next Thursday, October 5, at 4:30 p.m., they have called a hearing in the Cataño municipal legislature on the issue.
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