On Wednesday we told you about the financial discrepancies met by the newly elected Orange Walk Town Council when they took over town hall on March 8th. As mentioned the Town Council met an Over Draft Facility that was maxed at $111,000 and was not being serviced since last year November.

The council also found out that Social Security payments in the tune of almost $31,099, was not paid in for employee contributions that were deducted from their salaries for 2009, 2010 and 2011. And to make matters worse the $31,099 does not include a new assessment that was due for employee contributions which were not paid in for January and February of 2012. This included deductions for the almost 100 employees that were hired by the UDP just before the elections for the work program which ended upon the council entering office. The council is also faced with the fact that most of the Administration staff and Transport staff had signed contracts with the former Mayor which took effect on February 1st, 2012. But those problems have not impeded the municipal body from carrying out their mandate.

Hipolito Novelo-Reporting

This how San Antonio Road looked like up until recently- it was a road affected by huge potholes. But that’s about to change because the newly elected Orange Walk Town Council has stepped up to the plate In keeping with its mandate to the people.

Commuters and residents of the area constantly complained to the previous Town Council that the road was in dire need of upgrading. Those complaints however, were carried by the wind.

But with a new sheriff in town, work on the San Antonio Road began on Monday.

Kevin Bernard, Mayor Orange Walk Town

“One of the things that the Orange Walk Town Council have embarked on is part of our promise that we will continue in the upkeep of our streets, right now we work on the San Antonio road where he had a lot of concerns of the residence of the area and so we immediately we met and we discuss with the work men and the supervisor of infrastructure and we had them working on those street immediately, currently as well we are sitting the priority areas that we have we are doing some drainage works as well in the town and I want to tell the residence of Orange Walk that we know that there is a lot of dust around so e have just recently got two new tires for the truck that operates the water bowzer because that has been failing and so we are getting to at least wetting these streets for the meantime to avoid some of the dust, as you they have grad San Francisco street before and so it has a lot of dust and in addition we are looking at the areas in front of Landy’s and Sons, the street is really, really bad and so Monday morning work will be starting there and we are looking at all the priority areas and San Antonio was a very important one.”

The council is also working on the town’s drainage system especially since the rainy season is right around the corner.

Kevin Bernard, Mayor Orange Walk Town

“The drain is very, very important because we are soon approaching a rainy season and so we are starting to work with those as well and clean those drains that are clogged; we met last week as a team to discuss the need to repair those broken culverts, so we have already revised the list of culverts that needs to be replaced and we have visited Mr. Dyck from blue creek and he has given us the plan as to how we can build our own in house culverts and so we have already purchased of that and those parts are coming from Chiapas and it should be here within a week or two  and that would give us the opportunity to build our own culverts in house and we can address the issue of our broken culverts immediately rather to have long wait on those issues.”

Hipolito Novelo-Reporter

“Are you able to say the cost of all of these equipments?”

Kevin Bernard, Mayor Orange Walk Town

“Currently with all the road works that is happening, for example, the in house culverts we are going to save some money but the actual equipment that we are getting in is costing us a little over two thousand dollars nothing much, it is going to be a thirty feet length, that is the dimension that the town supervisor advices us to get and in terms of the street works we have the equipment all that is costing us is the in term of the normal daily operational cost that were are having.”

Those are immediate goals that the council is working on. As for the long term goals, on the list is the relocation of the councils working equipment and heavy machinery.

Screen_shot_2012-03-23_at_3.13.53_PMKevin Bernard, Mayor Orange Walk Town

“One of the concerns of residents and one of the things that we had when we were campaigning, we had mentioned to residents that one of our main plan would also to be to move away the works department from council yard or the compound with all the all these trucks and see how we utilize this compound here the slaughter house area, where it use to be a slaughter house, as you know it is in a very dilapidated state and we want to see how we can utilize this area to park all of our major equipment and do all of our main works equipment come here and the reason is that we want to beautify the center of town and with those trucks and equipment that are in the compound it doesn’t give that ambiance that the council want to have and so we are trying to see how we could bring those equipment over to this side, of course well secured and protected, and have the works department operate from here so whenever they are working to do street work you won’t have all that congestion in the center of town so we can organize ourselves much better so that is a long term goal we have and we are seeing now on the studies and see how we can get it done.”

Early in April the town council will host a press conference in which it will announce the councils financial status and reveal a number of financial discrepancies left behind by the U.D.P Town Council.