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Jul 23, 2018

National Sports Council Says OW Town Council Owes Them Cash

Orange Walk’s Fiestarama is scheduled to take place this coming weekend at the People’s Stadium, but an impasse between the National Sports Council and the Orange Walk Town Council has put the town’s most anticipated fair in limbo. As we reported on Friday, the National Sports Council is charging the Town Council a flat fee of five thousand dollars for the use of the stadium. However, Mayor Kevin Bernard and his council are unwilling to pay the fee because they say it is unreasonable, exorbitant and a political power move. The council is willing to pay ten percent of revenues collected at the gate as what was agreed to last year, but not the five thousand dollars flat fee.  But, the council’s debt from last year’s Fiestarama is lingering above its head like a storm cloud. According to the Director of the National Sports Council, Ian Jones, the Orange Walk Town Council owes three thousand and seventeen dollars to the national sports council for usage of the People’s Stadium. Under the 2017 signed agreement between both parties, it was agreed that the National Sports Council would collect ten percent of the gate revenue but as Jones explained Mayor Bernard has yet to pay up.


Ian Jones

Ian Jones, Director, National Sports Council

“Last year we entered into this agreement with the town board. The town board did the one thousand dollars security deposit which was just that, a security deposit. After the event completed we received no payment from the town board. I contacted the mayor on several occasions. In addition to that what our staff counted as amount of tickets sold did not collaborate with what they were saying. But that was not here or there. I was going by their income statement. They stated what they earned and I said let us have our ten percent as per the agreement. A year has passed we have not collected a dollar for that ten percent. If you note the last clause that I read where it says that if they were to rent out any part of the facility we entitled to a ten percent of that. The Mayor sent me an income and expense statement which stated that bar rentals they made eight thousand, two hundred and twenty eight dollars. Booths sale, they made two thousand six hundred and ninety five dollars. Gate sales were twenty one thousand nine hundred and forty three dollars. Marble games, nine hundred and fifty dollars and mechanical rides, six thousand dollars. Now I am saying to the mayor, bar rentals, gate sales and mechanical rides, the National Sports Council is not begging you. We are saying we are entitled to the ten percent based on the agreement that you the Mayor signed along with the sports council. He initialed every page of the document so if he did not read the document, I cannot say. But he signed on to this document and has refused. Up to today we have not collected a dollar from the mayor. I’ll be honest, if right after the event the Mayor had given the sports council the ten percent of the gate proceeds there would be no issue today with them with getting the People’s Stadium for Fiestarama. I confirmed with the Mayor first of all we will not enter into any new agreement until what is owed to the Sports Council is paid. Secondly, I cannot for lack of better words, trust that you took a year and signed an agreement and refused to or neglected to pay what you owed. I cannot go into that same agreement with you again.  Now we will charge a flat fee that we expect to be paid before the event. We do not want any ten percent or any percentage of your proceeds again. We will charge a flat fee. You pay, you pay the security deposit. If there are no damages to the facility your security deposit is returned and everybody is satisfied.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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