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Oct 5, 2018

CitCo to Shelf Proposal until Further Consultations

Oscar Arnold

As we said, Thursday’s press conference was postponed at the request of the City Council because of the outcry by the tour operators. Today, Deputy Mayor Oscar Arnold attended the FECTAB press conference and said that the City Council has made the decision to shelf the proposal until further consultations are done.

 

Oscar Arnold, Deputy Mayor, Belize City

“From what we saw and the documents from the consultations, it appeared that there was enough buy-in from stakeholders that this thing should be done. We started to hear some clamour back and forth, I think when mayor walked out there and spoke to some of you guys out at terminal one, some people were with it and some people were against it. And so we went back and the councillor in charge of zoning and planning also had some consultations. The problem with those consultations was it wasn’t like this; we didn’t have some of the stakeholders because of what had happened historically between yourselves and B.T.B. People either weren’t interested in hearing what the B.T.B. was saying or was just fed up and it is always a fight. My message to you here today is that when that condition was made or the decision was made for the trial run to be done, it was on the basis that small tour operators, Belizean owned businesses and Belizean tour operators would not be affected to the point where they will lose money. What I am hearing here is that that is a certainty; not a probably but a certainty. The message from the mayor to B.T.B. at the time was if anytime during that trial run there is any compromise that has to be made where money will be lost or business will be lost, then the city would not be involved in that. Where the move is concerned, I understand also and I was given an update yesterday that the National Sports Council has an issue because for whatever reason, B.T.B. did not consult with them as to the parking arrangement. As far as where this trial run will be, the Mayor has shelved it until further consultations, until meaningful consultations will be done.”

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