Belize City Mayor gives update on garbage payment situation

The Belize City Council and Belize Waste Control signed an initial agreement in July to address the matter of a million-dollar debt ordered to be paid by the court. As part of the agreement the Council agreed to enforce the existing contract particularly with regard to exclusivity of garbage collection. A final agreement is due within weeks. On Monday Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley gave us an update.

Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley:

vlcsnap-2013-09-03-12h46m27s249The judgment was about two million dollars.  We had negotiated a one million dollar discount, which takes the judgment to one point two million dollars.  We had paid six hundred thousand dollars shortly after us making that agreement.  The balance six hundred thousand dollars will be due at the end of the year, the 31st of December.  That will then take care of the judgment.  We’re still trying to work on some of the other issues that we have with Waste Control. We’ve put together a committee made up of Councilors who will advise me exactly what is to be done, in terms of ensuring that their rights are properly addressed, as opposed to our rights as well.  Our ultimate outcome is to ensure that we have a very efficient, and a very cost-effective sanitation system within the wider community.  Waste Control’s issues have to be addressed. They raised issues with the arrears situation, which we have every year.  We’re trying to see what we can do to settle that.  They have raised concerns in relation to certain of the language in the contract, in terms of exclusivity and those issues, that we need to look at with a legal lens to ensure that we can come to some sort of agreement on the way forward.  

According to the Mayor the Council continues to struggle with its arrears to the sanitation companies and is determined to do something about it.

Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley:

It will be a continuous issue because every single year since I have been Mayor, which is only two, we have been in arrears situation.  I have heard of situations before that the previous Mayor and the Mayor before her used to be in an arrears situation, and they worked out some sort of mechanism to get through that.  The problem really is a structural problem that most of the City Council’s monies come in the months of December, January, and February, in terms of payment of trade licenses an property taxes.  The rest of the year, we consider to be our slow season.  We’re trying to balance that approach off. We’re putting in place things like the residential garbage fee, that will allow us to more comfortably meet our obligations to this particular sanitation company.  But those things have not been put in place yet.  But we’re trying to do the best that we can.  But in relation to the judgment payments,  we have paid off half of it, and we expect that we will be able to pay off the next half by the end of the year.

PLUS News has confirmed that the Council is currently 10 weeks behind in payments to Belize Waste Control. The Memorandum of Understanding between City Hall and Belize Waste Control will be signed by September 15.

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