Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Friday, February 5, 2010

Improving the Infrastructure of Puerto Penasco

While we've all been promoting our opinions on what should and should not be done to make Rocky Point a better place for everyone (by which some of us mean what would be better mainly for us gringos), the city's government has been working hard at doing just that. Both the previous mayoral administration and the current one have set their sights on improving the infrastructure of Rocky Point for its citizens, and though it isn't sexy news like doom and destruction or beautification projects, it's pretty important stuff.

Former Mayor Heriberto Rentería Sánchez was proud of his achievements as he was leaving office, and bragged on them a bit. Here are just a couple of things his administration accomplished during his term in office. We'll start with the all-important matter of water.

Under his watch the city completed two parts of a three-part comprehensive potable water supply program, representing an investment of nearly $200 million pesos and guaranteeing supply to the community for at least four or five years. The project included 78.5 kilometers of pipes for potable water laid in various neighborhoods of the city, at a price of $23 million pesos, principally in the regions of Nuevo Peñasco and San Rafael.

Prior to this project only about 200 liters per second of water flowed into the city; now that amount is between 400 to 500, with capacity able to accommodate 700 liters per second.

The completion of the third and final phase, which is already well advanced, is left to the new administration under Mayor Alejandro Zepeda Munro. This includes the sectoring of the pipe network with 30-inch pipes across the city and the construction of a 6,000 cubic meter storage tank. The storage tank, made with cutting edge materials and technology, is considered a prototype on a national level.

Also well advanced in the pipeline is a desalination plant for the city, a project much favored by Mayor Zepeda Munro. At an estimated cost of $120 million USD, sources of investment for that come from the local, State and Federal governments, as well as from the U.S. government. I haven't seen a timeline for that project, but it is definitely on the front burner.

Another area of importance to the health of city residents has been the paving of city streets. There is a certain rustic charm in the sandy streets of Penasco, probably more enjoyed by tourists and expats than by the Mexicans who live there, but besides being hard on vehicles and making it difficult for first responders to arrive at a scene in a timely manner, all that sand blowing around is bad for the respiratory health of the residents.

Under Mayor Renteria Sanchez 48 streets were paved, representing an area of 381,000 square meters (or 75 linear miles) of pavement in nearly all of the city's neighborhoods. The initial goal was for about 200,000 square meters, but they were able to exceed that goal substantially. Approximately $75.5 million pesos were channeled into the project, with assistance coming from the State and Federal governments.

The fourth stage of the paving project is left for the new Mayor to complete, with up to $50 million pesos allotted to pave more streets.

With both tourism and real estate development basically in the toilet at this point, the flow of money into the city's coffers has definitely been curtailed. Naturally this is having an effect on the government's ability to invest further in infrastructure plans, but they plow ahead regardless.

It's possible that the current bust may turn out to be a good thing, allowing the city to take a breather and make more careful decisions about future projects in the region. At any rate, the city fathers are to be commended for their efforts to make Puerto Penasco a better and healthier place to live!