As there is a softening of the regulations and the economy is beginning to crank up, town and city councils countrywide are trying to figure out how to keep financially stable. In Orange Walk, Mayor Kevin Bernard did not fire any of the council’s employees, but says that while businesses reopen, the council will remain in a financial chokehold. According to Mayor Bernard, municipalities across the country will face the slow season and it will be more difficult for councils to meet operational costs, unless central government lends a helping hand.

Kevin Bernard, Mayor Orange Walk

“I know that there have been municipalities that they would have had to release people but the reality I son the ground Hipolito. Currently we are asking the government, I’ve said this before we’ve ask the government to look at support to the municipalities because while we might open back our doors that doesn’t guarantee that people have the money to pay their property taxes the way we want them to pay their property taxes or there are some small businesses that have already suffered tremendously and so those people might not be able to reopen their shops. So that is lost in shade revenues for us. Our peddlers are taking a licking. They have not been able to come out as well. And so those streets side vendors, the council cannot collect those peddlers fee so there is still a lot of tough times for us. Normally we go through that lull period every year and so we are going to some tough time. So I understand the question and I like I said we have been doing one week at a time, looking at it. I spoke to my administrator and we said we have projections that we can look at three weeks from here but what will happen after that. We have been telling the government help us with a bank guarantee over draft facility, allow us to access duty free fuel. All of those things have fell on deaf ears and I am not speaking just for the Orange Walk Town Council. I am speaking for all of us, for all of the mayors across nine municipalities across this country.”

Channel 5