FUENGIROLA COUNCIL has handed a fire station it had been using back to Mijas following prolonged negotiations.
Mijas Council has called the move a “new victory,” after it was given back after more than 20 years. The town’s Mayor, Juan Carlos Maldonado, explained, “it was our intention from when we first arrived at the town Hall to unlock this situation and recover this site; the same policy we have followed about the Hippodrome, which we have also seen returned to the people of Mijas, adding around €30 million in value.”
He added, “I would like to thank the mayor, Ana Mula, for this final meeting point that has allowed the people of Mijas to recover this outstanding enclave at the entrance of the road to Las Lagunas.”
The keys to the €2 million building were officially handed over to Mijas Council, which is now deciding what to do with the space since the area already has another fire station. Councillors now say they do not want the building to be used for “social and cultural” purposes.
Francisco Martniez, a local politician, said “the council will evaluate whether the building can be immediately used for residents of needs works. Meanwhile, the council team is studying options to use the site for a sociocultural building which would meet the demands by associations and groups in Las Lagunas as well as providing space for shows of the Peña Flamenca El Gallo.”
The 762 square metre building, located on the border of Fuengirola and Mijas, could offer ample space for leisure activities, according to Mijas’ Mayor, Juan Carlos Maldonado. He explained, “one of our main goals today is to get residents involved, not only through debate forums such as the social council, but also through the physical spaces provided for locals so they can carry out work locally through associations and groups.”
Fuengirola Council has said it will hand over the fire station it had been using to Mijas Council within the month following protracted legal wrangling. Mijas’ Mayor, Juan Carlos Maldonado, commented, “the station is set to return to the arms of Mijas, which it should never have left.”
The dispute looked set to reach eviction proceedings until Ana Mula, Fuengirola’s Mayor, wrote to her Mijas counterpart, Juan Carlos Maldonado, saying her council would vacate the building, which is located in Mijas.
Fuengirola’s firefighters had been using the building for several years but have since built one within their own municipality, prompting Mijas Council to ask for the site back, even resorting to legal threats. According to media reports, Mijas’ request “was denied by former mayor and now Partido Popular member, Esperanza Oña, and by the current mayor, Ana Mula.”
Fuengirola Council took the issue to court, requesting the building be gifted as payment for €4.5 million worth of services its says have been provided by its firemen. The court sided with Mijas Council, stating nothing was owed to Fuengirola Council and it did not make sense for Fuengirola’s firefighters to remain in a building not belonging to the council.
Mijas Council says it made numerous written and verbal requests to Ana Mula, asking her to vacate the building, sending a formal request on September 14, 2016, saying it wanted the building back within a month. A source says the letter went “ignored and unanswered,” prompting Mijas Council to begin eviction proceedings.
Four months later, Ana Mula wrote back saying she would return the building but claiming she and Mayor Maldonado have “different interpretations” of the ruling, since it “does not contain any order imposing the building’s return and does not determine the legal status of the property,” adding the ruling only dealt with a “cost claim” between the two councils.
She finally agreed she would hand back the property on the proviso a document was signed clarifying the agreement.