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Jan 23, 2018

Thanks to Municipal Bond, City is Debt-Free

The hallmark of Bradley’s success at City Hall is perhaps the floating of the municipal bond, monies which were used to concretize over a hundred and sixty streets across the city.  That project, though welcomed in some quarters, was also criticized by Bradley’s detractors who complained that the funds used to undertake the paving of those carriageways could have also been used to provide adequate drainage for streets that were being reconstructed.  Criticism aside, the municipal bond has also allowed the Belize City Council to bail itself out of crippling debt left behind by Bradley’s predecessor.  He says that City Hall is in a much better place, despite having to pay judgment debts incurred from the past Moya administration.

 

Darrell Bradley

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“A significant amount of the resources of course came from the municipal bond which itself is a successful initiative because it’s an opportunity to show that municipal government really can inspire trust and confidence and one of the good things with the municipal bond is that it has been designed, provided that we maintain the sinking fund payments, it’s actually designed to be re-floated every two, five and ten years.  So that municipalities in the future, long when I leave office, can do municipal projects at intervals of two, five and ten years because the capital resources will be there.  I will also say that we have been able to stabilize the finances to the point where we have paid off a significant amount of debt.  The city council is free of an overdraft.  I remember when I took office the first week, the first thing that they indicated to me was that the city council has a two million dollar overdraft and we always kept that right at the two-million dollar level, so it never did help the municipality.  And when we did the municipal bond the first check that wrote was to pay off that overdraft to the point where I’ve led the city for six years and we’ve never had an overdraft.  A businessman will appreciate that reality.  And we have managed the transition from BML so that the city council staff has actually doubled and we’ve never had a situation where we have missed any salary payments.  We’ve never had a situation where we’ve defaulted on any loans.  We’re still paying off a substantial amount of judgment debts from Zenaida’s term in office, but we have not incurred any significant debt in this current period, aside from the municipal bond.”

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