Thursday 9 February 2023

Thursday’s Downpour flooded the new Legislative Assembly building

"We are just tenants," says the executive director of the Legislative Assembly

Paying the bills

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9 February 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

Paying the bills

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HQ – The first downpour of 2021 – in March! – flooded part of the second floor of the new Legislative Assembly building.

A video shared on social media chats by legislative employees leaves no question of what happened during Thursday afternoon’s heavy rains in downtown San Jose. Wath the video here.

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The executive director of the Assembly, Antonio Ayales, confirmed the flooding was caused by the rain.

Similarly, the Fideicomiso de Asamblea Legislativa/Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) 2011 (Trust), owner of the building while payments on it are being made by the Legislative Assembly, confirmed “the event that affected various sectors of the building”.

It was noted that rainwater flowed neither towards the storm drains nor towards the street, but directly into the parliamentary building.

“The Fideicomiso immediately activated the necessary attention mechanisms in conjunction with the Maintenance Administration Unit, the construction company, the designers and building inspectors, so that the situation is controlled promptly, the causes are determined and the definitive solutions are implemented to avoid let the situation repeat itself,” the BCR said in a statement.

Asked about the matter, Ayales emphasized that the administration could not do anything about the situation as they are not owners. “We are just tenants,” he said.

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On the other hand, the Trust pointed out that the legislative building has “a series of insurances and guarantees, including coverage for hidden defects” of up to ten years and added that, if necessary, these insurances and guarantees would be executed.

This implies that, in the face of those hidden defects in construction, which appear with the use of the property, the responsibility is on the constructor of the property and/or its insurers.

In addition to Thursday’s flooding, the building has presented broken windows, access difficulties for the press, a concrete slab broken by a cargo truck, and a police van colliding with a light pole, among many other incidents.

Strong rains

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While March is not a month for rain, less downpours, the national weather service, the Instituto Metereologico Nacional (IMN), reported heavy downpours in the afternoon on Thursday (March 18) and Friday (Mach 19) in different parts of the country

On Thursday, in the center of the Central Valley, as well as in the mountains of the Central Pacific and the South Pacific, rainfall was combined with Thunderstorms.

The IMN explained that the rains in March are due to “aguaceros de los cafetaleros” (downpours from the coffee growers).

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