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CITCO forced to cancel municipal fair due to budget cuts

Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2018. 5:30 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Today, the Belize City council (CITCO) issued a release clarifying their reasons for the cancellation of this year’s municipal fair.

According to CITCO, last month, it submitted its list of events for this year’s September Celebrations to the National Celebrations Commission (NCC), which included the Municipal Fair.

The council says that it had been in the planning stage for the September Celebrations for some months now and had initiated its plans to host the municipal fair.

However, in a meeting held on August 8, the NCC handed the Belize City Council a letter indicating its allocation for this year’s events, which revealed a sharp 20% reduction in its standard allocation in comparison to what was awarded to the Council in the last five years.

The Belize City council’s September committee met on Thursday, August 9 to review how the reduced allocations would impact the scheduled events and related initiatives that the city undertakes for the September celebrations.

CITCO says that the Committee concluded that of the available options, the least invasive would be to recommend the cancellation of the 2018 Municipal Fair. As a result, the Council accepted the Committee’s recommendation.

The Council underscores that the decision to cancel the Municipal Fair is solely a direct result of the arbitrary reduction in funding allocated by the NCC.

“ While we do not believe that our National Celebrations should be politicized, the Council has not been able to receive a solid justification for the unexpected reduction, especially since we are of the view that no other municipality’s funding was reduced. We note, that while funding to the largest municipality was reduced by as much as 20%, the NCC received 50% more funding from a single international donor in 2018 compared to what it received from the same donor in 2016,” the statement explains.

The council furthermore recommit its promise to exercise responsible fiscal management; and in keeping with this, could not commit itself to expenses it cannot afford to honor.

 

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