At the top of the newscast we told about the upgrading of streets currently carried out by the Orange Walk Town. But the council’s work does not end there, Deputy Mayor Ian Cal also elaborated more on the proposal for the renovation of the Orange Walk Central Park which according to him is scheduled to start soon. Cal says that contractors have entered their bids for the renovation of the park and a decision has been made.

Ian Cal – Deputy Mayor

“A brand new park is being built, some of the structure that is there will be upgrade and it won’t be destroyed but the Park itself will be uplifted to ground levels, as you know the Park level is below street level, so it is going to be uplifted, the Gazebo and the BTIA building will be upgraded as well so you will see an entire upgrade of the Central Park and right after that you will see the upgrading of the street surrounding the Park which it will be made up of I think brick materials so it will be like a beautiful walking zone area in the Central Park, the way it works is that this is funded by the World Bank, it is a loan through the World Bank and it is channeled through the Social Investment Fund which has partnered with the municipalities to ensure that these types of project get carried through but one thing I must say is that money doesn’t come just like that, a council has to qualify, a council has to meet certain qualifications and standards to ensure that certain monies comes to the community and one is by being transparent holding public meetings and two is by paying three percent of the cost.”

That translates into about sixty thousand dollars that comes from tax payers’ money and the rest of the finances are coming from the World Bank. SIF is also working on the Santa Familia Street for which the council has also met three percent of costs.

O/W Town Council Continues To Work On Street Infrastructure Even With Lack Of Resources

It is hardly a tired song as the concern over the deplorable state of the streets in Orange Walk Town continues to be echoed by pretty much everyone. Over the past months, the Orange Walk Town Council has been doing some work on the most affected areas but the work seems indefinite. Today, Deputy Mayor Ian Cal says the council has shifted its strategy on some of the most affected areas in Town.

Ian Cal – Deputy Mayor

“What the council has decided is to divert some of that attention that we were giving outside and bring it in town now, so what we plan to do now is that we are upgrading these streets and yesterday we started with Trinidad Street, which is at this point upgrade and today we are here at Liberty Avenue and today what we are doing is ripping, compacting and putting in some new material and right after that we will see the paving of Liberty Avenue and from here we are moving on to Guadalupe and Sapodilla which has been pending for some few months now and the reason we hadn’t touched those street yet is because BWS just finished working on that street and that is the way we are coordinating with BWS , they go in first and then we afterwards because we don’t want the same thing that happened before you just finished working on a street and they come back and rip it.”

About fifteen streets will be completely redone in the months ahead. The cost of the work being carried out at the moment says Cal, is being incurred by the Council alone.

Ian Cal – Deputy Mayor

“Thanks to the people of Orange Walk and thanks to the taxpayers of Orange Walk and that is the way we are working. We ask the community at the same time to be a little patient with us, we know the frustration that our residents are going through with the conditions of streets and we know that everyone priority is the street directly in front of their homes but we are going to do as much as we can with what we have and hopefully as we go along we see the improvement and people can see the improvement, like I said we have been doing paving of the street since we started but it has been over shadowed by the deterioration of the streets, it is deteriorating faster than we can actually keep up with it. Over the past weeks we have seen that frustration from the community and we have heard it loud and clear, they are calling on the Orange Walk Town council, they are calling on the government of Belize to do its part on the highway and we will do our part, we will continue doing our part on our streets.”

The work is currently ongoing in the most affected areas.