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Apr 8, 2016

What’s the Minister of Sports’ Take on MCC Parking Fee?

Fans of football, those who have attended games at the M.C.C. Grounds recently, are outraged about parking inside the facility since there is now a fee of five dollars to do so.  On Sunday, a football aficionado criticized the National Sports Council for its decision to proceed with charging the public for use of the parking lot.  The idea was initially touted as a mutually beneficial arrangement for The Ramada Belize City Princess and the National Sports Council.  What fans did not realize was that they would bear the cost of utilizing the parking lot.  Earlier today, Minister of State Elodio Aragon told the media that the construction of the facility is the result of cooperation between the public and private sectors.

 

Elodio Aragon, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports

Elodio Aragon

“First of all I don’t know if it is like you said  there is a lot of criticism, I know  there is a lot of praise out there within our Belizean Populace. Because this is what you call private and public partnership, this is the way to go in terms of moving things forward in this country. We can’t rely on government to do everything. The National Sports Council is a statutory body and they are charged to ensure that they will be self sufficient and self resource in the industry of sport. And if we are going to do that we need to begin to be creative, innovative, we have to look at private and public partnership. Because you all are from Belize City, you know MCC, what was MCC before I got here, there was nothing happening at MCC. Yes, we had an area where we have designated for parking and how was that parking? It was not in a good condition, partnering with Princess which will do many good things because one: it is going to alleviate the traffic congestion. Two: we are getting close to anywhere between eighty to a hundred thousand invested in right now which is coming from the Princess Ramada company that is investing in the parking area. So we are getting a parking area for free, apart from that, we are getting aid two thousand dollars a month for them to use that parking area. And that two thousand dollars a month goes right back into MCC to begin to put better lighting system, more care, painting of the fence, if you see the work that is being done right now at the MCC, that is possible because of this public and private partnership that we have done. And we have not put a penny in terms of; for the infrastructure, we are not putting anything at risk from the MCC, there is no lease agreement, all we have is a memorandum of understanding that clearly favors us as the national sports council.”

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