On Thursday Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu reported that there are concerns over the pace of the renovation of the town market. He said the renovation work stopped two weeks ago and residents of the municipality have made numerous complaints to the Town Council. Vendors who had to be relocated have also expressed their unhappiness with the pace of the project.

The Social Investment Fund issued a release in which it says the contract for the renovation of the Dangriga Town market which falls under the Belize Municipal Development Project was awarded to K & G Construction Company of Corozal Town in May 2012. The company took control of the work site in July 2012 and work began as planned. As part of the contract, the project is scheduled for completion on July 2013. The release goes on to say during the period July to October 2012 the work progressed at a fair level and increasing in volume in November and December. However, the work pace slowed down considerably during the first quarter of this year due to site management and financing issues on the part of the contractor.

SIF says all monies due to the contractor have been paid for by the Social Investment Fund as they have become due and without delay. To date approximately $320,000 has been disbursed for works done based on invoices submitted by the contractor. SIF says it is aware of the situation regarding delays and the alleged non-payment by the contractor to suppliers and employees and have been meeting with the contractor on a regular basis and has documented warnings to the contractor to address the above issues.

A meeting is planned with the contractor to determine the way forward to complete the project in a timely manner. SIF says it is committed to see the project to its completion and encourages the contractor to provide employment to the residents of Dangriga.

SIF ends its release by saying it remains optimistic that the issues can be addressed, but it is also prepared to exercise all options available under the contract to resolve the matter.