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“Still no quantum for courthouse repairs,” says Minister of Public Service

Posted: Friday, November 25, 2022. 2:39 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Minister of Public Service, Constitutional and Political Reform, and Religious Affairs Henry Charles Usher says that the Government of Belize is still awaiting estimates on the cost of repairing the courthouse in Belize City, which was damaged by Hurricane Lisa and subsequent rains.

Usher, speaking this week at a donation of food supplies for Belize City’s hurricane recovery efforts, said that the rains following the hurricane have in many instances caused more damage post-hurricane, or allowed authorities to see damages that was previously undetected.

He reiterated that Cabinet already approved a supplementary budget to go to the House of Representatives at the next sitting, which will include funds for the renovation of the courthouse.

“A couple of ministries are coordinating to make sure that the full damage assessment is done. It’s a comprehensive assessment that’s being prepared and certainly when that is finished, when we have our next House meeting we’ll be taking that supplementary budget to the house for approval,” Usher said.

A large portion of the roof on the building that houses most of the courtrooms of the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, the Chief Justice’s Courtroom and office, and the General Registry was blown off when Hurricane Lisa made landfall on November 2. The rains that followed caused the ceiling over several courtrooms and the stairs leading to the Supreme Court to fall earlier this week.

Since then the European Union dispatched a team to conduct assessments on the structure in an effort to determine how much aid Belize will need to get the building up and running again. Meanwhile, services at the court have been redirected to other buildings, so that matters can continue to be heard.

 

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