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Apr 8, 2008

Paving progresses on Kraal Road, other city streets

Story PictureTechnically speaking, street paving is not a complicated process but it is costly … which is why City Councils and town boards across the country say road works in their first two years in office have been limited to patching. But with the United Democratic Party in power, the friendlier relationship between the municipal bodies and central government has paid huge dividends for one Belize City neighbourhood. News Five’s Janelle Chanona reports.

Zenaida Moya, Belize City Mayor
“It feels good because the people deserve this.”

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
This afternoon work crews from the Ministry of Works and the Belize City Council made good on their promise to pave Kraal Road.

Anthony Michael, Deputy Mayor
“Everybody hear about the famous Kraal Road and people always felt that Kraal Road and the south side of Belize City—well a lot of the streets on the south side of Belize City—have been neglected for many, many years. this is a testament that the Belize City Council and its extension central government has not forgotten the people of southside.”

Zenaida Moya
“We’ll be having a number of streets that we’ll be working with “lee leil” as we would say, “lee leil” we wah try to deal with different streets.”

According to the City Council, with financial backing from central government, similar upgrades will take place on Logwood Street, Neal’s Pen Road and Blue Marlin Drive.

Anthony Michael
“We are doing Blue Marlin Boulevard with the assistance of central government and in conjunction with the Belize City Council for forty thousand dollars. That alone is a big savings to the Belizean people and the reason for that is that we don’t have to be renting equipment. The rollers and the backhoe is being provided by the Ministry of Works. Our graders will be provided along with the technical expertise by the City Council, a lot of the material we have gotten at cost price and that’s the reason for that. We have to give people value for money.”

But the work has highlighted that for every new paved street, there are ten others dying for attention.

Anthony Michael
“We have our work cut out. We inherited a broke City Council over nine million dollars in debt, with not a friendly central government. It wasn’t an easy thing for the last years but the Belizean people realised that and they saw us still coming out there within the last two years working diligently, working honestly.”

And while residents are grateful for the facelift, parents say the smooth surface is conducive to speeding.

Elton Garden, Area Resident
“The work no finish yet and you see car di pass by like thirty-five, forty miles per hour. So I woulda seh the speed bump woulda really slow them down like how through got lotta kids. So the speed bump would ah ease them down more betta cause ih need it.”

Deputy Mayor Michael has pledged to install pedestrian ramps as needed on all the newly paved streets. Of course the paving project everyone’s waiting for, Albert and Regent Streets is now scheduled to begin the first week of May. Reporting for News Five, I am Janelle Chanona.

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