By Benjamin Flowers: The owner of the building on Ecumenical Drive in Dangriga Town, which houses various government offices, says he’s willing to negotiate a new price with the Government of Belize (GOB) to keep the officers there.
Last week, BBN reported that GOB had decided to relocate the offices back on to St. Vincent Drive at a previously occupied building, much to the ire of the staff of the various departments involved. The staff contends that the reason they moved into the Ecumenical Drive building in the first place is because the St. Vincent Drive building had a number of problems, including black mold that was sickening the staff.
BBN spoke with Curtis Castillo, owner of the Ecumenical Drive office building, who said that he was informed in February that GOB would be terminating the five-year contract, without so much as an indication as to why. Castillo said that, in light of the reports saying that the former building is cheaper, he is willing to lower his rental price to below what they are preparing to pay his competitor.
“I think he has a contract for $13,000, so I am willing to give my building for $10,000. That’s more than breaking even, that’s a loss, but at the same time, the public service and everyone involved deserves something better,” Castillo said. “My building also has secured, fenced parking for government vehicles to stay at night so nobody is using them on nights and weekends, his building doesn’t have that,” Castillo added.
Castillo also pointed out that, by the proprietor’s own admission in an interview with BBN last week, black mold is a problem at the St. Vincent Drive building though the owner had pointed to un-serviced air conditioning as being the root of the issue. Castillo also noted that GOB already invested in his building to customize the office space to ensure comfort for the staff, and that remaining there for the reduced rate would achieve the desired savings while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the public servants tasked with conducting business in the office space.