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Dec 11, 2014

Can Mayor Bradley Extend BML’s Sanitation Contract?

Darrell Bradley

On Thursday, we showed you at length the difficult position in which Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley finds himself. Municipal elections are in three months, and all the workers from Belize Maintenance Limited are from Belize City. So obviously, leaving those workers out in the cold at this time is not an option, politically speaking. But realistically speaking, the City Council simply cannot function with the addition of one hundred and sixty workers. It’s the proverbial rock and hard place scenario, but is there another option? For example, would the parties contemplate an extension of the current contract with BML, or perhaps a revised contract? News Five asked Mayor Bradley. For context, we note that currently CitCo’s contract with BML calls for a payment of seventy-eight thousand dollars per week.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“The cost for taking the workers, if we take one hundred and sixty workers, excluding the ten people who are Mr. Ellis himself, his wife, management and those kinds of people…that is one hundred and sixty people. The staff cost for that is thirty-five thousand dollars, but when you’re looking at that type of operation, which includes equipment, it includes additional uniforms, it includes housing them, it includes a lot of other things which will take our cost back up to the seventy-eight thousand, and this is my fundamental difficulty…that we can’t deal with the existing contract, nor can we deal with a situation where we are housing the full plenitude of what BML does right now. What I think would work is if we substantially reduce the scope of the contract, if we’re even talking about that contract, substantially, and phase it out. That will at least preserve some of the employment of some of the workers, because I recognize that that is an issue. And we could phase that out and what we need to do is that we need to enter into a serious conversation with members of the public to tell them that if your city is to work…if you want more streets, if you want Belize City to develop into a commercial and economic hub where we are safe and we have money to do projects, then the citizenry needs to shoulder greater responsibility in terms of cleaning Belize City. Under that system I do still think that the City Council may need to take some of the workers…not a hundred and sixty but maybe we need to take twenty or thirty…a smaller number that’s manageable that we can assure ourselves that we can pay for, so at the end of the day we’re not in any default and with one contract, so we don’t have any BML anymore and we have a much, much smaller bill that they do…something around fifteen thousand dollars per week, not the seventy-eight thousand dollars.”

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