(ATR) Funds needed to dismantle two structures in the Barra Olympic Park will not be available in Rio de Janeiro's 2018 municipal budget.
A spokesperson for Marcelo Crivella’s office tells Around the Rings that the city of Rio de Janeiro still has no answers for the removal of two temporary structures in the Barra Olympic Park. The Aquatics Center and the Future Arena remain intact and city officials are seeking "alternatives for disassembly".
"It is a delicate and complex work," the spokesperson added.
Deadlines to dismantle both structures have already been delayed by the Crivella administration. The evangelical mayor has moved beyond the fervor of the 2016 Games created by his predecessor Eduardo Paes. Upon taking office Crivella immediatelypromised large spending cuts, and has made public health one of the tenets of his administration.
Earlier this year the vacant structures were described by international media photographers as abandoned. One year before the 2016 Olympics the previous administration presented an ambitious plan for the Games’ legacy. Included in the plan was the dismantling of the structures and selling off 40 percent of the Olympic Park to developers. The plan was presented by Paes’ deputy mayor Pedro Paulo who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2016. Paulo was endorsed by Paes and finished third in the initial election, failing to make the runoff.
Many of the permanent venues in the Olympic Park are under the administration of the Sports Ministry. The ministry has until January 2019 to find a private operator for the venues as public money will run out. Only Carioca Arena 3 is run by Rio City Hall.
Another venue legacy suffered a setback earlier this week with the Rio Olympic Velodrome roof catching fire for the second time. The fire was again caused by an illegal balloon that carries an open flame. Authorities reported no damage to the track inside the venue, which is made from delicate wood from Siberia.
The two pools used for the Aquatics center were moved out of the Park earlier this year. One was installed in an army base in the Urca neighborhood of Rio, while the other heated pool remains in the army’s control until a destination is found. Meanwhile, the structure surrounding the pools remains in the park.
Future Arena was supposed to highlight a prepackaged legacy for the 2016 Olympics. The venue hosted handball and goalball during the Olympics and Paralympics and would be repurposed into four schools after the Games. However, no funding was budgeted by the previous administration, so City Hall has been unable to dismantle the structure.
Rio’s City Hall originally provided ATR with the same information as when asked about the project in August. There was no money allocated in the 2017 budget, so "the city has been studying economic and financial mechanisms to carry out the dismantling of the Arena" a spokesperson said today.
"There was no budget allocation for the assembly of the schools included in the initial project," the statement read. "With this, the viability of this initiative is still being evaluated. At the moment, the priority of City Hall is to obtain funds for the completion of 30 schools of tomorrow and to [repair] the old units that need reform."
In a follow up question the City Hall spokesperson said "there is no provision of resources" in the 2018 budget. Until City Hall can find a source of revenue to pay for dismantling, the structures will remain up.
"Other alternatives are being thought of," the spokesperson said.
Written by Aaron Bauer
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