August 5, 2021

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There will be a dining room, museum and polygon in San Juan

As the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, had anticipated, the Municipal Legislature approved an ordinance to transfer the operations of what was known as the Wildlife Museum to a non-profit institution for it to operate from that structure the Kennedy Dining Hall and contribute to fighting hunger.

Likewise, the Municipal Legislature approved another ordinance by which it will authorize a private company to operate a firing range, with an agreement that will allow the municipal police train in said place at no cost to the municipality.

As explained by the president of the Municipal Legislature, Marcos Rigau, both agreements result in benefits for the municipality, and the signatories must meet certain requirements for compliance and granting of services so that they remain valid.

In the case of the Museum of Wildlife, a building located on Kennedy Avenue that has a refrigerated warehouse , it will be transferred "in usufruct for 20 years", to the Kennedy Dining Room, through the non-profit organization Auditorium de Amor Kennedy, Inc., administrator of the dining room.

As explained, the Dining Room is "a faith-based civil organization ”that seeks to“ eradicate food insecurity in Puerto Rico ”, and will be offering meals to children, the elderly and anyone else who needs to feed. Adds the measure that the organization of the Dining Hall has existed for a decade, and in that time "it has served more than a million people free of charge, mostly children and the elderly.

According to Rigau, the organization, in addition to operating the Comedor will also open the Wildlife Museum.

“This is a project to use the building known as the Wildlife Museum and which has been closed for several years, costing the Municipality of San Juan in maintenance, in insurance, etc., and this dining room is going to take care of the expenses of that building, and is going to use the building on the one hand to reopen the museum, but more importantly, to provide lunches, free food to children who need food in San Juan, "Rigau explained.

He compared the dining room to school canteens in schools, and said that this would be" a municipal canteen, in private hands, which will obviously have to seek funds from institutions, contributions, donations, but e They have the capacity to do so, "adding that they already have the support of many institutions to finance the project and provide food.

He clarified that" they promised not to charge children for entry to the museum, "and highlighted that, due to its location, the organization of the Dining Room will have to attend to the issue of transportation to the place. He clarified, however, that the Dining Room has the resources to serve people there and also to produce food and distribute it through the municipality.

"They are going to serve children and everyone who is hungry and has nothing to do with buy food, at no cost to people. They will attend to everyone who needs it. That is their commitment and that is clearly stated in the contract. And it is clearly established that the breach of the contract would lead to its termination, "said the leader of the Municipal Legislature.

As for the estate, Rigau classified it as" a business very favorable to the municipality of San Juan, to provide a polygon for the practice of shooting of the Municipal Police of San Juan, at no cost to the Municipality of San Juan. ”

He explained that, currently, the members of the Municipal Police of San Juan have to go to practice shooting at Gurabo, to stay in compliance with both state and federal laws and regulations.

“We have established an agreement with a company that is going to establish a polygon on municipal land, and this has no cost to the municipality. Obviously, in exchange for that, they are going to pay a moderate rent, because in exchange for that, they are also going to be able to operate the range for both the Puerto Rican Olympic Shooting Federation and private individuals who want to practice shooting. This is a way of integrating the interest of a group of people who want to operate a business, but for the benefit of the municipality in more ways than one, "said Rigau.

The measure details that the municipality will lease to the Seamaster Corporation, Inc a land of about 17.13 ropes in the Bechara sector to enable it to build the polygon.

"The AAA Shooting Club committed to the municipality to build a polygon on municipal land that is not being used, they are wetlands , and they will build with their funds. Here the municipality does not invest a penny. They are going to pay the municipality a rent that is up to a limit of $ 1,000. But that is not the important thing, it is that the municipality is going to be saving thousands of dollars monthly because the polygon that they are going to build is going to be able to be used free of charge by the eight hundred odd members of the Municipal Police of San Juan ”, he explained.

He added that they also made a commitment to make the range available to the Puerto Rico Shooting Federation at no cost to the federation. In addition, an amendment was approved to offer a discount for the use of the polygon to all employees of the Municipality of San Juan and residents of San Juan who accredit it.

"They may charge their club members for the use of the polygon. They already have to find a way to get the money for the use, "he added.

Rigau explained that when debating the proposal in court, the company was asked about the environmental issues that could arise, and that they explained that the place There are no mangroves or protected species, but only invasive species. He added that, however, they would have to comply with all the provisions and obtain all local, state and federal environmental permits.

The leader of the municipal legislature also maintained that the Club considers that with the construction of the estate, international competitions could be brought shooting range with different types of weapons.

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