San Pedro UDP Town Council and UDP Area Rep Have Water Ferry Beef

In San Pedro Town there's a dispute between the area rep and the Town Board. Actually there are probably quite a few disputes - even though both the area rep and the the town council are UDP.

One dispute which was brought to our attention is a battle for control of the Municipal Pier. That's in the heart of the town where the water ferry service San Pedro Belize Express has its terminal. It's a huge operation - with a massive number of tourists passing through monthly - but our reports said they weren't paying rent to the Town Council for the pier. And, that's because the area rep and the mayor have a dispute over another PUP business interest who uses the pier.

The Area Rep's relative is a co-owner of the water taxi service so we asked him if he is playing favourites. The mayor told us that they are now paying - but he's still not happy with the arrangement:..

Hon. Manuel Heredia, Min. of Tourism
"San Pedro Belize Express is paying $2,000 monthly to the San Pedro Town Council. In deed I always believe that if there are 2 business persons operating over there, 2 of then supposed to pay. But at this point, the one that you are talking about, for 2-3 years they have been docking over there and they refuses to pay. So the town council supposed to act on that. Why should one be paying and the other is not? Up to this day I've been telling the mayor what are you doing about these persons that you have been billing and doesn't pay. If you are paying your property taxes and I am not, they supposed to deal with both of us in the same manner."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"San Pedro Belize Express is paying. But you feel that if they are going to be fair, they shouldn't pay, because the next man is not paying."

Hon. Manuel Heredia, Min. of Tourism
"I always if you are not going to charge one, don't charge the other. But if one pays, let the other pays. That is my philosophy. But nonetheless, it's not because San Pedro Belize Express, one of the partners is my family, it means to say I am doing that. I am just doing it in fairness."

SAN PEDRO Belize Express will soon move its terminal from the Municipal Pier to Ruby's.

Channel 7


Minister Heredia and S.P. Town Council at Odds over Payment Pier Fee

Gary Grief is not the only person who Minister Manuel Heredia Junior is not seeing eye-to-eye with.  There is presently a disagreement with the San Pedro Town Council over the collection of fees related to the use of the public pier. The issue is that San Pedro Belize Express is paying a two-thousand-dollar flat fee for usage of the pier, but a P.U.P. businessman, who has been using the pier for the past two to three years, has not. Heredia Junior has a fundamental issue with that because he believes in fairness so he asked the town council to either collect from the P.U.P. businessman or don’t collect from San Pedro Belize Express.

Manuel Heredia Jr., U.D.P. Area Representative, Belize Rural South

San Pedro Belize Express is paying, two thousand dollars monthly to the San Pedro Town Council. Indeed, I always believe if there are two business persons operating over there two of them suppose to pay. At this point the one you are talking about, not for generations but for probably two, three years, he has been docking over there and he refused to pay so the town council suppose to act on that. Why should one be paying and the other not? And up to this day yes I have been telling the mayor what are you doing about this person that you have been billing and doesn’t pay. It is the same, if you are paying you property taxes and I am not, man they suppose to deal with both of us in the same manner. You know me well that I like to be fair but at the same time I don’t believe in hurting somebody because he is a PUP but we have to be fair. You cannot give preference to somebody who tries to bring you down and hurt the one who is supporting you. I don’t believe in that.”

Reporter

“So San Pedro Belize express is paying?”

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“Is paying.”

Reporter

“But you believe that if you are going to be fair, they shouldn’t pay because the next man is not paying.”

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“I always believe that if you will not charge one don’t charge the other but if one pay let the other pay. That is my philosophy.  But nonetheless it is not because San Pedro Belize Express one of the partners is my family, it means to say that I am doing that. I am just doing it in fairness.”

Channel 5