Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2014. 10:26 pm CST.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: As he predicted some time ago, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley is once again confronting the specter of the sanitation contracts owned by Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) and Belize Waste Control (BWC).
Belize Waste Control sent officers of the courts to crowfoot City Council assets to settle a debt.
The Mayor says the Council has paid off the majority of its debts to both companies but as long as the onerous demands of both contracts remain, litigation will continue, some of it fueled by what he believes is personal animosity.
As for the new suit in court, the Mayor contends that it is for the same, or part of the same, judgment owed and so constitutes legal double jeopardy.
But what will be more difficult to run away from is the pending task of taking on 170 workers that expect to stay on with the Council when the contract with BML expires next January.
The Mayor went on record again today to say that he has crunched the numbers and found the edict from Prime Minister Dean Barrow to City Hall unworkable, but he was at pains to add that this does not mean there is a disagreement between them.
The Mayor repeated that the cost for salaries, other benefits and equipment is just too much to take on and he reiterated his call for a public discussion on the issue of sanitation.
While the Council has not given up on finding a way to incorporate 35% more staff with the coming of the BML workers, neither is it willing to countenance renewing the BML contract.
The Mayor said that it needs to be phased out to reduce the Council’s commitments in that arena.
During the interview with reporters the Mayor noted that the Council has had to deal with alleged thefts of its property by its own workers in recent months.
Nonetheless it is moving forward with plans to streamline the Council’s staff and ensure tenure and other benefits – things that may go by the wayside if the BML plan proceeds.
In other news … the issue of a cruise port for Belize City has been amplified by a report on Yahoo! Travel that listed Belize as one of the worst Caribbean ports of call for cruise ships, in part because we do not have a natural port.
According to Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, there are plans for one in the venerated master plan, which he invoked yet again as he told reporters what the Council has done to address another concern: the perceived lack of attractions in the Old Capital for visitors.
The redevelopment of the Memorial, BTL and Battlefield Parks is part of a waterfront rejuvenation project that will continue with the redeveloped Commercial Center and businesses in place along the route from St. John’s Cathedral on Albert Street to St. John’s College on Princess Margaret Drive.
But when we pressed him on taking sides with Stake Bank’s proposed port off the coast, the Mayor said the Council needed time to consult among itself before making such a decision.
According to Bradley there have been numerous proposals related to business development in Belize City.
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