Job creation along with the reduction of crime and violence as well as the improvement of infrastructure in Belize City is what is expected to be gained when government begins the implementation of a five million dollar Urban Rejuvenation Project in Belize City.
At his quarterly press conference held on Wednesday January 21, Prime Minister Dean Barrow explained that over the next few weeks the old capital, Belize City, will be transformed through infrastructural works. The P.M. explains that five million dollars will be pumped into Belize City for infrastructural works, noting that when he was the Minister of National Security, work created by a project like this was instrumental in curbing crime and violence after the gang truce and the implementation of the Conscious Youth Development Program back in the 1990’s.
The Prime Minister says that the financing for the project will be arrived by getting four million dollars from the Petro Caribe Fund and an additional million dollars will be obtained from the Central Bank of Belize as a result of taking moneys from the Central Bank from abandoned and inactive accounts. The five million dollars is in addition to a 250 thousand dollar project that is being currently implemented by the Ministry of Works.
The Works Ministry’s Hon. Anthony Boots Martinez says that currently rehabilitative work is being conducted across Belize City with concentration on areas that are in urgent need. He says that work crews are currently working night and day to repair damaged roads and clearing drains. He adds that while 250 thousand dollars is the money they are currently working with, if equipment and personnel costs are added to the projects the price tag for the works could easily get to the range of one million dollars.
All told then, the works to be conducted in Belize City will add up to a handsome figure and the Ministry of Works’ Chief Executive Officer, Cadet Henderson says that about 19 miles of roads in Belize City will see major improvement. Among the streets that will be upgrade will be Freetown Road, North Front Street, Queen Street, Barrack Road, Daly Street, Baymen Avenue, Dean, King, Orange Street and Cemetery Road, Amara, Euphrates, Vernon and Southern Foreshore.
Henderson says that they will be looking at enhancing the streets along with its road reserve whether it is the replacing of missing or damaged manhole covers for the sidewalks or cleaning and installing new drains. The work will also see the installation of culverts in areas that are needed as well as repairing areas with significant base damage. This will also include the paving of all the streets that will be dealt with. Henderson says that while in some areas it will mean that the streets will be patched and resealed, there will be streets that will be lifted, reshaped and resurfaced.
Because it is local funding, the work will commence within a month; however, Henderson says that before work is done on any street, the utility companies will first be called in to do necessary upgrades and maintenance.
The Belize Guardian