During a meeting with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Georgetown on Monday, President Irfaan Ali committed to the Government making an advance payment of taxes to City Hall to the tune of $100M.
The City Mayor described the meeting as fruitful and said he was able to inform the President of some of the challenges being faced by the municipality.
In a statement, the Office of the President said President Ali and Mayor and Deputy Mayor discussed a range of issues affecting City Hall as well as ways of strengthening collaboration between Central Government and the Mayor and City Council (M&CC).
The President said that the “city and the national heritage of the city is a reflection of ourselves,” and pointed to the need for protection and preservation.
He called City Hall and its adjacent buildings important historical sites that need to be maintained.
“These things will cost a fortune to rehabilitate. But we have to start. We will pay a sum of the Government taxes in advance towards these projects. So we can have approval on that, so you can move that forward,” he told the Mayor.
Parking in the City and greater collaboration between the Local Government Ministry and the City Council were among the other issues discussed.
On the issue of parking in the City, President Ali said the issues of congestion and parking are paramount since structured systems are the hallmark of modern cities.
He proposed that the City Council work in tandem with the Private Sector to achieve infrastructure projects such as the enhancement and maintenance of parapets and drains in key parts of Georgetown as well as the construction of modern parking facilities.
Mayor Narine raised the issue of taxes owed to the City, adding that he is ready to work along with the Government for the benefit of City residents.
“I know you have spoken many times about procrastination, at the level of many agencies within the M&CC. We want to discuss how we can be able to implement some of your strategies, some of your vision so that we can be able to work with the investor and the business community at large, so that we can be able to deliver in a more timely manner.”
The Local Government Minister and the Mayor are expected to meet before the end of this week to move some of their plans forward.