The Georgetown Mayor and City Council, on Monday, passed a motion by Councillor Junior Garrett to send a delegation from the M&CC to the Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan seeking an intervention from Central Government in the form of $600M.
The motion was seconded by Councillor Lyndon Hilliman and was unanimously carried by the M&CC. The decision was made for the delegation to engage Minister Bulkan by November 16.
Mayor Patricia Chase-Greene noted the importance of the intervention as it would mean that City Hall workers would be able to be paid their salaries by November 25.
She further stated that this would mean no protests by workers.
She also noted the impending Royal Visit by Prince Harry in just a few weeks and stated that they need to get Georgetown in tip-top shape and for the Council to ensure that all garbage collection contractors are paid.
Prior to the passing of the motion, the possibility of approaching Central Government was thoroughly discussed by various members of the Council with notable speeches made by the Deputy Mayor who opined that before the M&CC approaches Central Government, a plan should be put forward so as to prevent City Hall from slipping into the doldrums of debt yet again.
He also voiced the notion of charging the Guyana Power and Light company for the use of the City reserves.
He said the Council is in serious debt, but he also questioned whether or not it is feasible for the City Council to be indebted to GWI as well as they also use the city reserves to run their pipes.
Mr. Duncan further suggested that dialogue be opened with both utility companies as City Hall tries to find a solution that would end their debt worries.
He also compared the budget for the University of Guyana and the City of Georgetown which are $2.3B and $3.2B respectively. He then stressed the need for a larger budget for the City as he pointed to the financial woes the M&CC have found themselves in.
Another Councillor, Chairman of the Finance Committee, Oscar Clarke echoed Duncan’s sentiments of the need for a well designed plan so as to ensure that City Hall does not have to go back running to Central Government should the $600M subvention be granted.
Also discussed at the Statutory Meeting was the health issues that are faced by workers at the abattoir.
Mayor Chase-Green called for members of the Health Committee to act fast as the abattoir is tantamount to the city. She stressed on the need for them to call an emergency meeting with private stakeholders as well as to discuss the way forward.
(City Hall Photo by Amanda Richards)