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Nov 20, 2012

$10 garbage fee on water bill

Employees of Belize Waste Control (BWC) protested in front of City Hall on November fourteenth as they were told they would lose their jobs as a result of a six hundred thousand dollar debt that the City had not paid in fees. The forty employees kept their jobs as the City Council and BWC worked out their differences. But after improving on a number of city streets, City Hall is broke and there is a controversial measure that is about to be taken by the Mayor. Darrell Bradley intends to impose a ten dollar garbage collection fee on households. In an interview with News Five, Bradley says that the fee will be tacked on Belize Water Services bills in December and the first payment would be expected in January 2013.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“We’re looking at a fee in Belize City of ten dollars and we are talking with Belize Water Services Limited—I have had several meetings with them—and they are very receptive to them acting as the council’s collection agent. And what that would mean is that the bill would appear on to the water bill. it will be a separate piece of paper, but it is going to be on to the water bill—stapled together and then they would deliver the bill for us and then persons would pay at Belize Water Services Limited’s outlets this ten dollar fee and then that will be remitted to the council.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Are you prepared to deal with citizens saying that we don’t want one more bill? Are you prepared? How do you deal with the backlash if there is any?”

 

Darrell Bradley

Darrell Bradley

“Well what we have been doing is that we have really been going on the road with our consultations. Every single time that I go on any media, I raise this fee. We’ve raised it in the last four public meetings that we’ve had in the various parts of Belize City. We’ve had two on the north side; two on the south side. We’ve taken a lot of feedback in terms of the residential garbage fee. And of course I know it is a burden to persons when they are being asked to pay anything, but what we are saying is that the City Council can deliver in terms of its infrastructural works and we can have a substantial impact on the streets and drainage works in Belize City, but this fee is necessary for us to meet our projections. The City Council will continue to operate as the conduit for this. This persons will pay a fee, they will pay that fee and that fee will be remitted to the council and the council will remit that fee to the sanitation supplier. But I envision that in the future, we would want to move to a situation where people recognize that the collection of their garbage is a private commodity and they have to pay for that.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Would this then alleviate some of the pressure? I know over ten years at least, the council had issues with paying fees to the various garbage companies. Would there be a direct relation between collection of this fund and the payment to BML and BWC?”

 

Darrell Bradley

“It would significantly improve our bottom line at the City Hall. Of course, forty percent of our revenues go into the payment for the two sanitation contractors—we pay one contractor fifty thousand dollars; we pay the other seventy-eight thousand per week. So every week, these monies come out of the City Council. If we can generate additional revenue in the form of this residential garbage fee, then of course that will be a significant help to the council to be able to meet this payment burden. What we anticipate and we have already done our forecast is that there are thirteen thousand households in Belize City and each of the households will be charged this ten dollar fee and that will net us about a hundred and thirty thousand dollars per month and that will go directly to meet the garbage expense.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“I need you to define household because for example I may have two water meters at my address and they both service me. Will I be charged twice since I have two meters or would it be per family in a household?”

 

Darrell Bradley

“No. It is defined as a household and we use the same definition that the census uses to define a household. So that a household means a family unit or dwelling which resides anywhere within Belize City and that’s who is going to be charged. Now mind you, there could be two households in one premises. For example, I could own my house and I rent the downstairs of the house to somebody else. That’s two households. So all of these things are being worked out because we are working very closely with the Belize Waste Control and the BWSL to ensure that our numbers match theirs in terms of the meter premises. I suspect that it would take us several months to get the numbers correct to ensure that we are billing the exact persons who we intend to bill. But this is something that we will put into effect in December. So this will go into effect next month and it will go out attached on to the water bills next month and persons will be asked to pay the first residential garbage fee in January of next year.”

 

In his defense Bradley said that the fee exists in other municipalities and it is an integral part of the prospectus for the City Bond that will be launched later this week.

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4 Responses for “$10 garbage fee on water bill”

  1. Belizeanheat says:

    This idiot just got a brand new Toyota Helix paid for by City Council with our tax dollars, He’s pushed the City to the brink of bankruptcy and is crying poor, Now he wants everyone to bail him out and pay $10 for garbage collection. How about starting by taking out the garbage at CITCO including those who get paid to do nothing. With Belize’s credit rating and this clown in charge….only a fool would invest in his municipal bond

  2. Hi5 says:

    Hog wash….. March Belizeans

  3. JJ says:

    I like the outset of the Mayor’s proposals. Pay a garbage fee for garbage collection! No problem with that. However, I have a problem with amount. How did they arrive at $10? $10 for 12 months is $120 for the year. $120 per year for 13,000 household is $1,560,000 annually if all fees are paid and collected. Add or minus commercial companies with numerous water meters, will they be paying the same $10, considering them a single household? Nevertheless the proposed fee intends to raise a lot of money! How much is the city’s annual garbage bill and is the amount on that bill justifiable? Now with that said, I want to see something published in the newspaper or Gazette regarding this fee or tax or whatever semantics they so choose to call it. I want to see the Mayor’s clear proposal on this! I am a resident and I want to see this. How will these funds be used? I want to hear some clear details on that; for e.g. will the funds be paid into an account restricted for garbage expense only! What exactly is the details of this garbage expense! How will they track who is paying or who has not paid? How will they follow-up on arrears collection on the fee etc. People in Belize City need to stop just giving away their hard earn money for glossy ideas without substantiated details and poor service. I expect this city to be better and I have trust in this Mayor. Hence I want to see his clear proposals to support this.

  4. Storm says:

    I don’t mind paying for services, but what happened to the public revenue that formerly went to pay for garbage collection? Obviously it has been diverted to some other place, and I’d like to know where that place is, and who made the decision to send it there?

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