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Feb 27, 2007

CITCO seeks business support for downtown paving

Story PictureThis afternoon as part of its celebrations marking the first anniversary of being elected to office, the Belize City Council took time to honour those individuals and businesses that have helped the council.

And while the council was honouring people for their past cooperation, one councillor clearly had his eye on bigger things. According to incoming deputy mayor Anthony Michael, downtown’s two main thoroughfares are in dire need of repair … and he’s hoping that the private sector will pitch in.

Anthony Michael, City Councillor
Basically, we want to resurface Albert and Regent Street. It will cost the council approximately eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars. We do not have the money, but somewhere we will try and find it. So we approached the businesses and asked them if they could donate in kind, in assistance, in advice technically of how to revitalise, beautify Belize once more. This is our old capital and when you talk about Belize City, the first streets that come to mind are Albert and Regent Street. Businesses are losing money on Albert and Regent Street because it is in bad condition, tourists are not staying in Belize City and we want to tourists, rather than using it as just a pass by, to stop here, tour. We have ancient buildings, we have beautiful sights and we want the businesses to make more money here in Belize.”

Stewart Krohn
“Now Deputy Mayor, it’s all well and good, we all know that Albert and Regent Street are really in bad shape, but isn’t that one of the city’s main jobs to pave the streets. Is this gonna create a pattern where if you want to get your street fixed in front of your house you’re gonna have to come up with some private help for the City Council? Is this a real long term solution?

Anthony Michael
“Certainly not Stewart, we inherited a debt. When we were campaigning we thought that the City Council was in debt, because of lack of information coming from the City Council, about four million in debt. When we got here, it was nine point five million dollars in debt, which threw a totally different pipe wrench into the equation. The city and the residents of the Belize City realise that we are out here working very hard, honestly to the best of our ability. In the past, Belizeans and business felt that politicians used to alienate business, we want to bring the business community together along with all the citizens, working in conjunction to create civic pride, cleanliness, and the beautification of Belize City.

Michael is asking downtown business owners to help out in any way they can, including donations of cash, materials and labour as well as advance payment of taxes and trade licence fees. Along with paving the streets, the council is also hoping to have the electricity, telephone, and cable TV lines run underground.

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