RESIDENTS of two Costa Blanca urbanisations have complained of paying out ‘millions of euros’ in property tax to their town hall while receiving ‘nothing in return’.
Expats living in the Urlisa 1 and Urlisa 2 neighbourhoods in Altea have claimed the town hall ‘never officially took over’ management of the residential area despite raking in expensive IBI payments.
Residents claim the council is consistently failing to deliver vital services to the community and feel the message is that ‘you’re not part of Altea’.
“We have no street lighting, the roads are in disrepair with potholes and overgrown weeds, and the rubbish containers are always overflowing,” Bill McCreery, member of the local Neighbours’ Association, told the Olive Press.
“Some of the roads are so bad we physically can’t drive on them.”
The association has estimated there are 500-600 dwelling in the urbanisations paying an average of €700 in IBI each year – meaning annual contributions to Altea Town Hall of up to €420,000.
“We’ve had numerous meetings with the council but absolutely nothing has changed,” Bill said.
“The only response we get is ‘you’re not part of Altea’.”
He added the situation has got so bad certain roads are now ‘unusable’, while waste collects in one of the few refuse points and security cameras to catch potential burglars ‘don’t work’.
He said about 60 residents got hit with demands totalling €300,000 when a private contractor fixed a sewage pipe funnelling ‘raw waste’ into the sea – the demands, however, were thrown out in a court case.
Altea’s councillor for infrastructure, Diego Zaragozí Llorens, said he ‘understood’ residents’ complaints.
“This problem has been going on for years, and since June, when I became a councillor, we’ve been committed to making a huge effort to solve this,” he told the Olive Press.
The councillor said a new timetable for rubbish collection, a new road sweeper and a personal visit are expected by ‘early 2020’.
He urged any residents with complaints to contact him for a sit-down meeting.
“For a long time services have been concentrated in the town centre, while distant urbanisations have been ignored,” he said.
“But I consider all people in this municipality as much part of Altea as everybody else, and we will do our best to sort this out.”