Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2020. 1:34 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Next Monday, the Belize City Council will roll out a short-term municipal bond to raise funds for the construction of streets in the Old Capital.
But while it is familiar, there will be differences from the larger bond raised by Mayor Darrell Bradley during his term in office.
Ten million dollars in payments remain on that bond per the Council’s balance sheet shown Wednesday out of the original $20 million. But this Council intends to spend only interest from the bond whereas ‘Bradley-bond’ holders are assured of principal and interest payments, backed by a Government guarantee and the Council’s annual subvention from Central Government.
Current Mayor Bernard Wagner compared it to the debenture system used by Belize Electricity Limited “that you get funding in from bondholders, I owe you, but you pay the interest. At the end of the day, the bondholders are seeking a return on their money and the returns that we are giving on this bond that will launch next week are much more competitive than what the banks and financial institutions are offering and that is why we sit today poised and ready to really launch Belize City forward in a fiscal way we have never been seen before.”
And as for which streets will be done, the Mayor told us that while the major highways and byways have been covered, this round of infrastructure will focus on “the back end” of Belize City: community streets that have been sorely neglected.
We will have further details when the Council meets with the press on March 16.
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