The infrastructural works on the streets are winding down as the Belize City Council prepares to focus on other projects during its term of office. Currently, Mayor Darrell Bradley says the Council has entered its 93rd street for upgrade.

Darrell Bradley, Mayor, Belize City

“We are working very closely with the various utility companies, most especially the water company. We are identifying a list of additional streets; by the time we are finished this year, we should be at one hundred and ten. We had budgeted for one hundred but we have been able to do a little extra because of our tendering process and because of the way we select contractors and also because of City Council doing some of the works itself; we saved on the labor cost and things like that and because of our tendering process also we were able to generate resources to contribute towards BTL Park and Battlefield Park and so, the residents of Belize are getting extra out of this twenty million dollars – more than a hundred streets and you’re getting public spaces. I am happy that we are finishing up in the north and south side downtown; on the north side downtown, the only street remaining is Douglas Jones Street; you’ve indicated that we finish North Front Street, there are only some cleaning up works to be done; they are going to do the approach to Swing Bridge and there are going to be the intersections and they only need to level off the street and clean up in certain areas but that street is fully passable and open at this present moment. The only other streets apart from Douglas Jones are Cleghorn and Slaughterhouse Road and that will finish the entire, this side of the downtown; we have some other streets that we are working on, on the periphery, for example, Gabourel Lane and finishing up on Eve Street. On the other side of downtown, we were on Dean Street, we have finished South Street, we are going to take King Street all the way to the Collet Canal and we are going to link up all of those streets; we are on Madam Liz in the Collet area; we will be doing Woodpecker, we will be doing Watermelon Streets, which are connections into Madam Liz and we are going to do the drainage on those streets as well. We are working comprehensively in terms of ensuring that all streets have some form of drainage on them. We are also doing Juliet Soberanis Street and we are continuing working on Coney Drive; we had difficulties on Newtown Barracks and Baymen Avenue, those difficulties have been ameliorated and we had the contractor going back on work that had nothing to do with our ability to pay the contractor; it had to do with certain difficulties in terms of communication with some of these other projects that are going to be routed, for example, there is going to be a canal that is going to go on part of Baymen Avenue, so that the contractor can’t finish all the way down. We need to understand where that canal will go so that they don’t have to be any breaking of the streets. We are very much on point with the BTL Park; that is supposed to be finish in the first week of December and we are planning a huge opening for that park, going into the Christmas season with much infrastructure improved. All of our projects and I mean the hundred and ten streets, those should be finished by the first week in December and residents should experience much improvement in the driving quality and there should be no congestion in terms of blocking and those kinds of things.”

Mayor Bradley also said that the Council has put a freeze on increases on trade licenses and property taxes as well as the imposition of the garbage fee. He also says the Council will now focus on other works.

Darrell Bradley, Mayor, Belize City

“We will very shortly start works on the renovation of the Commercial Centre; I have indicated this and I hope we can start works within a month. We are working on zoning the downtown areas; we are monitoring, I did interruptions with the streets in front of the Belize Bank; all of those things are looking quite nicely; Battlefield Park is looking quite nicely; we have solved about ninety per cent, the problem with homelessness in the park just by restoring it and just by putting in place proper procedures to ensure there is a monitoring system, working with the business community in that area to help us to maintain the area os that the city on a whole is looking up and you see tangible outcomes.”

Mayor Bradley also says that one of the Council’s burdening garbage contracts will expire next year and that spells good news for the Council.

Darrell Bradley, Mayor, Belize City

“Next year, things will be much improved because one of the major sanitation contracts, the BML contract which we pay seventy eight thousand dollars per week on, that is going to come to an end and our view is that we are not going to renew this because this is a leech on our city and we will encourage residents of Belize to maintain a two feet perimeter in front of their property so that if we don’t replace that service, the next Council will have a three million dollar surplus because that is how much we pay on that contract in a year. Another good thing that will happen by next November is that the first tranche of the municipal bond will be paid off. So, within this term of office, we are seeing one of the major sanitation contracts coming to an end, we are seeing that a first portion of the municipal bond will be paid off, that again is increased cash flow. We have paid off a two million dollar overdraft facility, so, Belize City, I think, is the only municipality in the entire country that is operating overdraft free and all of that is debt service that is going into servicing the municipal bond which is performing quite well. December 1 will be our second interest payment; we paid our first on June 1. Everything is working well for the City, again, we are not where we need to be but everything is moving in the right direction.”

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