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#462545 - 04/17/13 10:52 AM Chetumal Street Now A Boulevard
Marty Online   happy
About 20 years ago, Chetumal Street in Belize City wasn’t much to talk about – it led into a budding housing community called Belama Phase two. Since then, Belama’s population has exploded – it’s now up to Phase 4 and has hinterlands extending beyond that. Chetumal street has turned into a major roadway, a gateway into that suburban sprawl. More than that, the street bearing the name of your favourite Mexican City is also going to lead to a third bridge spanning the Belize River and connecting north and southsides. So, then, it wouldn’t suffice anymore as a street. That’s why the city council upgraded it – into Chetumal Boulevard, concrete pavement with a dual carriage-way. It was opened today, and the news wasn’t the street, but the politicians who joined hands to cut the ribbon.

When the Mayor and the Leader of the opposition are shoulder to shoulder in the front row, you know it’s a major event – and, in this case, a major street transformed into a Boulevard.

Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City
"I think that this particular thorough-fair is of great importance and significant benefit to residents including the business community in this area"

Chetumal Boulevard is the major gateway into the Belama community and the pavement is white and fresh, even as the median is still a work in progress. It cost just under three quarter million dollars but that’s because of the drainage demands.

Darrell Bradley
"It was done a little over three months at a cost of 708,000 Belize dollars and it was done by RJB Construction and of course you know the design was provided to us by Roque Matus and it was an impressive design. One of the things that we are pleased to have been able to do on this boulevard is to ensure that the drains were properly constructed and on this project the drains cost more than the streets."

So impressive that the Leader of the Opposition had no qualms about endorsing it and even cutting the ribbon. He’s the incumbent PUP representative for the Freetown Area.

Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader Of The Opposition
"On behalf of the residents of Freetown and in particulary obviously the residents of the Belama community, I want to express my gratitude to the Mayor, to the Belize City Council, to contractors who made it possible, the labourers who toiled to do the work everyday. So on behalf of the residents, Mayor, we express our gratitude to you and to the council for understanding and appreciating the importance of this project"

It’s a simple gesture, but a rare show of bi-partisan support and Fonseca had no apologies fur supporting the man he calls his mayor - signaling an era change.

Hon. Francis Fonseca
"You know today in Belize as it has been for a very long time, politics is very devisive, very devisive and it is very rare, let me put it that way, it is very rare and very unusual for us to see politicians from different political parties together sharing the podium, sharing the spotlight, if you will. I believe and I think the Mayor because he and I have talked several times and we have remain in communication since he became the Mayor of Belize City and when we first met I said to him, Mayor the elections are over, you are the Mayor of Belize City, you are also my Mayor and I am going to do everything I can to support your work and I mean that. I think that old devisive politics is really the old school of politics and I think, I certainly hope that the new generation of politicians that we have and the new leaders who are emerging will understand that if we are going to deal and solve the very serious critical challenges and problems that our municipalities face"

Darrell Bradley
"I think that his words were very insightful. After the election I had met with him and I had indicated to him some of the development plans that we have throughout the city and he had expressed his support and had urged on certain particular streets on behalf of the residents of the Freetown area. He had asked for streets like Gentle Avenue which we were able to find the budget for and he had indicated his concern on behalf of residents in this community on Apalo Street and these are areas we are trying to work along with him to address the concerns of residents of his community. He is the duly elected representative and we see no problem in terms of having him here representing the community of Freetown."

And while the political Kumbaya is heart-warming, what residents probably want to know is why is there ‘s a lamp-post in the middle of their street, or their sidewalk.

Jules Vasquez
"There's a lamp-post on the pavement itself. There are lamp-posts on the side-walk. When you look at that, just from a layman's position looks like there was no design at all."

Darrell Bradley
"It was a design, of course we have worked very closely with the utility companies, we have not so good of a relationship with BEL and we have indicated to them on numerous occasions that they had to remove these lamp posts. We had given them ample time, the utility upgrades for this street took atleast two months and we had written them, we are continually trying to have them remove this but of course I have no powers or to compell them to do that. It's a concern that we have had, of course the design for the street did not include the lamp post in the street and we had thought that they would have recognized their obligation and move the street, it has not been the case but we are continuing to try to work with them and hope that they would move it in the very near future"

And so while for the time being, you have to brake for lamp-posts- the street will be fully open to traffic on Monday. The City council has now paved 64 streets and hopes to complete 100 by year’s end. But the proposed ten million dollar project to upgrade the northern highway form the city to the Haulover bridge has been stalled – later on, we’ll tell you why.

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#462596 - 04/18/13 10:39 AM Re: Chetumal Street Now A Boulevard [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Inaugural Ceremonies Held For Opening of Boulevard in Belize City; Mayor Explains Other Projects

Even though work has not been completed on Chetumal Boulevard in the Freetown Division, this morning the Belize City Council officially held inaugural ceremonies. According to Mayor Bradley the contract which was awarded to RJB’s Construction came at a cost of $708,000.00.

DARREL BRADLEY

“I think that this particularly thoroughfare is of great importance and significant benefit to residents including the business community in this area. It provides a major access way from the northern Highway to the Belama community. It was done in a little over three months at a cost of $708 thousand Belize dollars and it was done by RJB’s Construction. The design was provided to us by Roque Matus and it is an impressive design. One of the things that we are pleased to have been able to do on this boulevard was to ensure that the drains were properly constructed and on this project the drains cost more than the streets. We have ensured that we have state of the art drains and they fit into the other development plans for this area including the Flood Mitigation Project.”

Also present at the inauguration ceremony was Leader of the Opposition and Freetown Area Representative Francis Fonseca.

FRANCIS FONSECA

“I want to express my gratitude to the Mayor, the Belize City Council, the contractors, the laborers who toiled to do the work every day and so behalf of the residents, we express our gratitude to you and the Council for understanding and appreciating the importance of this project.”

But what wasn’t part of the design were the electricity poles which have formed part of the street. Mayor Bradley says B.E.L was asked to remove the poles but has failed to do so.

DARREL BRADLEY

“We have not so good of a relationship with BEL and we have indicated to them on numerous occasions that they had to remove these lamp posts, we have given them ample time. the utility upgrades for this street took at least two months and we had written them. We are continually trying to have them remove this but of course, i have no powers to compel them to do that. it’s a concern that we have had the design for the street didn’t include the lamp post in the street and we had thought that they would have recognized their obligation and move the street; that has not been the case but we are trying to work with them and hope that they would move it in the very near future. Originally, Chetumal Boulevard was a very short street, it had a large carriage way and it had a large public reserve and because the street wasn’t being fully utilized that’s why the lamp post was put where it’s put but now because we are utilizing more of the lamp post, we have actually doubled the width of the street; the lamp post now is in the street and we have asked them on numerous occasions and for a long time now to remove but they have not as yet.”

The work on Chetumal Street is yet to be completed but Mayor Bradley says that it should be by next week Monday. As of the maintenance of aesthetics of Chetumal Boulevard, Bradley says that Westrac has volunteered to make it their responsibility. Bradley also mentioned today that BTL and Vilduca International Limited have donated a sizeable amount of financing to upgrade Church Street. Mayor Darrell Bradley also answered the media’s question about the city council being at odds with the Ministry of Works. Mayor Bradley expressed that he has infrastructural plans for the area of the Phillip Goldson highway which is annexed by the Chetumal Boulevard. But the Mayor’s plan is at a standstill because the Ministry of Works says that the highway is not under the jurisdiction of the City Council.

DARREL BRADLEY

“We’ve done research on the amount of vehicles in terms of putting together the financing for that by way of an inbound tour, a modest inbound tour. We’re already doing a design from the first roundabout to the Chetumal Boulevard where there is supposed to be a roundabout in the middle of the Northern Highway; we are consulting with the Ministry of Works and they have expressed to us, the jurisdictional issue that highways fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Works but we have maintained that this is a street, the speed limit along this highway is still 25 miles because it comes within the jurisdiction of Belize City. They have indicated to us there position that this stretch of the road is under their jurisdiction and they had indicated to us that we could meet, we could sit down, we could share with them our plans, they would share with us, their plans but of course, our main issue is to get the project started as fast as possible. Our projection puts this project at costing about ten million dollars and will require one year to be completed. I only have less than two years left in office and I would want this road completed before I leave office.”

Bradley says that the project is going to cost 10 million dollars and would take an year to be completed. Another endeavor that is at a standstill at the moment is the garbage tax which the council wants to attach to the utilities bill. Today Mayor Bradley gave the media an update and told us that at the moment, the city council in is consultation with Belize Water Services Limited and the Solid Waste Management Authority to finalized the implementation process.

DARREL BRADLEY

“We want to ensure that we are charging exactly who we should be charging and we wanted to allow maximum amount of time for public criticism but that’s a thing which is going into effect; it is necessary on the part of the municipality because we needed to service the bond and the solid waste management authority needs a portion of it to continue the solid waste management project. The business part of the fee, we’ve not finalized that as yet; there will be a tipping fee on top of what businesses currently pay and it’s going to be very small fee, I understand that fee is supposed to be around five dollars but I don’t want to speak before all parties have been able to agree on what is the amount. What we’re looking for – the residential garbage fee, we are looking for twelve dollars and a portion of that will go to the municipality and a portion of that will go to the solid waste management authority. I also want to mention that there will be a social rate which obtains for water and it obtains for electricity and we’re also going to have a social rate and the social rate is like two dollars and thirty five cents; so that social rate will be paid for by persons who really can’t afford the fee but we want everyone to make a contribution.”

A public forum is schedule for this Thursday at 7:00pm at the YWCA in which the council will hear the concerns of residents.

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