The Belize City Council and Belize Waste Control reported to Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana that they are still some ways from negotiating a settlement to pay off $2.3 million owed in a judgment in favour of the sanitation company since 2005. Attorney for BWC Fred Lumor explains the situation to date.
Fred Lumor – Attorney for BWC:
The City Council, last Thursday, sent a check out for fifty thousand dollars to my client. The debt as of the thirty-first of March was almost 2.3 million dollars. So I can say to you that that is pittance. They proposed to pay three thousand dollars a month. So that would come out to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year. The interest accrues yearly. Its about eighty-two thousand dollars. So you realize, that is no proposal at all. The matter is adjourned till the tenth of June. The City Council has indicated that they intend to reach a settlement with Belize Waste Control before that date.
One of those proposals is one million dollars due over 18 months and the remainder to be agreed, which the company prefers. However, Lumor says his clients are prepared to insist that Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley is jailed for contempt of court if they do not receive a favorable settlement. Mayor Bradley and attorney for City Hall Michael Young contend that the latter payment is only temporary and the Council is desirous of a lasting solution to the debt problem.
Mayor Bradley says that after ten years of nothing, the two sides should finally make progress even if Waste Control does not accede to the ten-grand-a-month proposal.
Darrell Bradley – May of Belize City:
That’s not a final proposal. I had indicated to them we would need fifty thousand dollars, which we have paid that already, and will commence paying ten thousand dollars per month. In addition to that we’re putting together this team, which comprises member of our side and members of their side, to see how we can come up with a once and for all settlement. So the idea with that interim period, as it’s called, is to lessen the burden of the debt and to show a sign of good will to them, in between the period when we come up with this final settlement, and of course this final settlement may also include the writing off of some of the debt obligations. So all of that we would want to put on the table, but we’re not saying that “We will only pay you this.” We’re saying, “Let us pay you this in the interim, until we can hammer out some of the major differences that we have, in relation to the contract itself, and in relation to the debt, so that we can move forward for the benefit of the residents of Belize.
The case has been adjourned to June 10.