Yesterday, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley told PLUS News that the Belize City Council this week finished paying the last of a $1.2 million judgment enforced by the Supreme Court last April in favour of Belize Waste Control. The maintenance company which collects and disposes of the City’s garbage had been having financial difficulties due to outstanding debt for some 15 weeks of service. It even had to dismiss employees and scale back on its operations. Mayor Bradley explained the nature of the payments speaking with reporters earlier this week, in this audio clip from KREM News.
“This morning, I signed the final check and we have paid them all that BZE$1.5; we have also paid them a double payment today because again this is our inflows in terms of taxes so that at this current period, we are at nine weeks; we are expecting to make another double payment the first week in January , so that we will bring them an eight weeks and we are expecting that we will pay the complete arrears. Immediately, our projections put us in the middle of February. It’s going to take us a little while; we can’t accelerate more than that because remember, we also have BWC, BML and we have other debts that we are trying to clear off; we are in a relatively good financial position, we are about to release our second independent audit and that audit shows that we have closed our receivable gaps substantially- the city council had outstanding owed to it $10M; we have closed it by $5m; we have paid a substantial amount of our debt- a lot of Social Security, income tax, even court bills that he City Council used to not honour even for staff members; we have paid off a significant amount of that. All of that was from previous administrations, not this current administration; we are making strides in terms of the financial situation; we are trying to work as best as we can with the sanitation companies to advice them that we are going to make good in our commitments with them”.
The Mayor says that paying off the garbage collection agencies, BWC and Belize Maintenance Limited, is a top priority and reiterated his determination to clear all monies owed to these companies by the end of February. Currently the council is nine weeks behind to BWC and a similar amount to BML, whose contract will not be renewed when it expires next year.