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Aug 16, 2006

… and says G.O.B. is helping Belize City Council

Among the many topics covered in this morning’s appearance was the current financial crisis facing the Belize City Council, particularly its inability to pay the two sanitation companies that keep the old capital clean.

Prime Minister Said Musa
?The position is that the City Council, the mayor has come to us with her difficulties in the case of Belize City. Saying that she is unable to meet her bills, and that she wants the help of the national government in particular with the sanitation contracts. The government has said to them, and we have been helping, we are willing to help and will continue to help. Why? Because we have recognized that we are dealing here with A: the city most be kept clean, as simple as that. We can?t allow things to go to the dogs. Two, we have to think of the workers. These people need to be paid. They?ve worked, and they need to be paid for the work that they have done. So how are we helping? Sometime ago the government paid off on behalf of the City Council a debt with one of the banks, I think the Soctiabank, over four hundred thousand dollars. Similarly we are paying another debt of the City Council with the Belize Bank. What we have to done is to say that these loans should have been repaid through subvention deductions. Instead we are saying that we are going to spread it out for you over three years. As a result they will get back a large portion of the deduction that was made, and in fact I think a cheque was sent yesterday. Certainly the letter was sent that they will get the deduction refunded of over sixty thousand dollars. In addition to that, because it is being spread out almost the entire subvention will continue to be paid to the City Council. The City Council is getting a subvention of about one point, almost one point five million dollars for the year from the government. It is the same subvention that was given to the previous P.U.P. City Council.?

The Belize Tourism Board will meet Friday and, according to the P.M., will most likely approve an aid package of around a million dollars for the city. Meanwhile, workers from B.M.L. and S.E.L. have planned a protest march for Thursday morning through the streets of Belize City.


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