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#32724 12/29/00 03:27 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
OP Offline
The Musa government's efforts to build over two hundred houses for the
families affected by hurricane Keith on Ambergris Caye are causing
headaches for the San Pedro Town Council. This week Mayor Alberto Nuñez
said that his council has been left in the dark about the construction
plans, and they would like to know why, and pronto!
In an interview with Reporter on Wednesday, Mayor Nuñez confirmed that his
office has yet to receive an official response from the Development Finance
Corporation, the Housing and Planning Department, area representative for
San Pedro Patty Arceo and the prime minister's office, regarding a letter
sent by his office, querying the construction of the prefabricated houses
on the island.

Nuñez said his office has tried to get answers about the project which is
currently underway, especially since the town's housing committee has not
approved or given the go-ahead to start any construction.

"This seems to be a major project," Nuñez said, "one which has to be
approved by the planning committee. We have not seen any plans, no one has
approached us and we have no idea who the contractor is. My office has sent
off a letter requesting information from the proper authorities, but so far
we have not received any response, but yet work continues on the site,"
Nuñez said.

Chairman of the San Pedro planning committee Domingo Perez told Reporter
that he is concerned that such a project is going on without the input of
the planning committee. "We only found out about the project after seeing
the arrival of a large shipment of prefabricated building materials and
heavy duty equipments. The town has to also give approval for these heavy
equipments to be used on the island," Perez said.

Perez said that their concerns should be addressed immediately, especially
since they have no knowledge as to what plans are in place to ensure that
the contractors are adhering to all the necessary rules and guidelines.

"After these people finish with the construction of these houses, they will
go and we on the island will be left with the responsibilities that will
come after. We will have to answer to the people, where there are
mistakes," Perez warned.

Mayor Nuñez said that apart from his office not being officially informed
of the project, local ordinances require that the construction contractor
pay a fee for each house.
A spokesperson from the Development Finance Corporation con firmed that the
DFC is undertaking the project. He said that the prefabricated material now
in San Pedro was sent there after a decision by central government to go
ahead with plans to build some three hundred houses between San Pedro and
Caye Caulker. The material was already available for home construction at
the new satellite town near La Democracia Village along the Western Highway.

Even so, the council is of the mind that authorities in Belmopan are
ignoring their concerns. "We are not against improvement of our town, but
there are certain rules and guidelines that must be followed. Our town
welcomes the move to construct more houses for our residents, but at the
same time we have to appreciate the fact that things must be done
properly," Perez said.

#32725 01/01/01 09:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 33
Leo Offline
Hi Marty,
So.....what's your opinion of this? Sounds like the committee wants a take of the money and appears to be upset. Or, is at a lost for authority it believes it deserves.
I remember an earlier issue about some crying that no one will show up at council meetings and appeared that no one really wants the control they think the island needs.
If the mayor really thinks the contractors should go by committee rules, why not post a sign of non-approval by the site, issue a citation, tell them they must stop until they get proper licensing? If it continues the committee could have recourse at a later date.
It sounds illogical to my American reasoning and usually when nothing makes sense there is money behind it all.
Follow the money trail??????
Are the Musa some kind of dictatorship or are people always kept in the dark???
Alot of whining going on and very short on a response for positive solutions.
Will I have to look over my shoulder now for freedom of speech??LOL
Leo....I mean Pablo........or whatever.

#32726 01/02/01 09:59 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 455
Where is this "town" being built?

Grace DeVita
#32727 01/02/01 02:02 PM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 7,051
I believe that the chosen site for this development project is in the San Pablo area of San Pedro Town.

I live in the San Pablo area and have watched the slow development with deep concern.

Why am I concerned??

Well, the "footings" for many houses have been erected in the neighbourhood. These footings are wooden pilings similar to wooden telephone poles. None of these poles appear to be staight or tied together. These posts are about 3 feet above ground level.

In Hurricane Keith the San Pablo area was approximately 5 feet below sea level. This means that in the event of another storm it is very conceivable that the area will again be flooded.

San Pablo has city water, cable tv, telephone service (well will have again in about 6 months) and electricity. We are not serviced by the city sewer line. Where will 300 homes be pouring their sewerage??? Most of the land in San Pablo is reclaimed land. The water table is about 18 inches below ground level. You cannot work with a below ground septic system. Above ground septic tanks are expensive. There is no truck that comes around and services and empties septic tanks. I would guess that 300 homes means around 900 or so new people in the neighbourhood. That is a LOT of sewerage.

Nobody in town seems to know what these prefabricated homes will look like or if they will be hurricane proof.

My home, and many others in San Pablo withstood the recent hurricane. But I doubt my home will be able to withstand being slammed by debris from 300 under built homes surrounding me.

I, like the rest of the town of San Pedro, would like to know what is going on in this area.

We do not want to see another San Pedrito tragedy on our hands which the local town council will have to fix.


#32728 01/03/01 11:36 AM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 7,051
Oh, by the way Leo, FYI, the DFC (Development Finance Corporation) is not a government branch. It is an independent financing group which I believe will be fronting the funds to erect the buildings - unsure who will be expected to foot the bill. However, as an independent group the DFC IS expected to follow the laws of Belize and the rules of Ambergris Caye when it comes to construction, zoning and building codes etc.

As usual, confusion reigns supreme... that's what makes Belize a fun place to live.


#32729 01/04/01 07:27 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 33
Leo Offline
Hi Amanda,
I thought I would do a little more research since I don't know much about Belize and like to know a little before I go. I just like visiting Islands as long as they're not capturing humans like Dr. Moreau.
I found this along the way when trying to find out who's who. Below is some info I discovered and wondered how this play's out.

Guatemala still claims more than half of Belize's territory. At talks held in Washington, D.C., in March 2000, Belize and Guatemala agreed to an agenda for formal negotiations to resolve the dispute.

Belize traditionally maintains a deep interest in the environment and sustainable development and its efforts to increase eco-tourism have been somewhat successful. In 1998, Prime Minister Said Musa launched an ambitious plan to encourage economic growth while furthering social-sector development. In June 2000, the Financial Action Task Force created by the seven leading industrialized nations, known as the Group of 7, warned Belize that it could be blacklisted if it failed to tighten its banking laws. The task force charged Belize allows its banking system to recycle money made by criminal activity.
Leo, Soon Come

#32730 01/06/01 02:45 PM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 7,051
Hey Leo

Look at it this way.... at least Belize knows how to conduct an election and have a result at the end of the day!!! ha, ha.

Where is Guatemala?? Okay, I am joking, I know it is a neighbouring nation.

I am afraid that i am none too clear on a lot of political debates.

Personally I feel that Belize is heading in the right direction. If the banking laws are a little lax it really goes to show you that we are still a third world nation - growing slowly but surely.

You won't meet a nicer bunch of people, see a more beautiful country, or have more fun anywhere else. I LOVE BELIZE.

For queries on political issues I would have to suggest that you pose the questions to my friend Jesse... he keeps up on all this stuff and tells me what I need to know when I have a question and he tells me how each change will impact my day to day life.

As it is today, Jesse told me that I should go out in the sun and consider having a quick dive with dolphins!! I think the government is closed on weekends.

Talk to you later.


#32731 01/06/01 02:50 PM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 7,051

I forget to mention that I saw the Mayor of San Pedro the other day and he has been able to clear up the disputes and questions concerning the new housing development project.

I should imagine he will release something official in the very near future.

Marty, you might want to contact his office for further information.

Cheers guys.

#32732 01/06/01 03:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
Amanda: Be sure to soothe the dolphins feelings. They're distressed cause they missed CHOO CHOOs visit!

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