As extraordinary as it sounds, the Belmopan City Council is facing possible eviction from the Belmopan City Hall, and all three additional City Council structures on the property. News Five’s Paul Lopez has more on this dramatic turn of events.
Paul Lopez, Reporting
News Five has learnt that the National Bank of Belize has been granted First Legal Charge of the Belmopan City Hall and three parcels of land in the City of Belmopan, as a part of a one point five million dollars loan agreement with the Belmopan City Council. The agreement was drafted pre-COVID, on January twentieth, 2020 and signed by the former City Council Administration on February fourteenth of 2020. Former City Council Mayor, Khalid Belisle and all six of his former councilors signed onto the agreement. According to the paperwork obtained by News Five, the one point five million-dollar loan at a nine percent annual interest rate was to facilitate a staff restructuring exercise and meet urgent payables.
The former Belmopan City Council administration agreed to make eighty-four monthly instalments of twenty-four thousand one hundred and thirty-four dollars commencing February twenty-eighth, 2021. The current P.U.P. Administration inherited this loan upon taking office on March fourth, 2021. The outstanding one point five million loan debt was listed by the current City Council Administration in a March twenty-fourth press release, among other major debts and contracts the new council inherited, amounting to eight point eight million dollars. That same day, Mayor Sharen Palacio held a press conference where she listed additional outstanding debts.
Sharen Palacio, Mayor, Belmopan
“The Council owes social security my people to the tune of five hundred and eighty-six thousand six hundred and four dollars and fifty-one cents. Income Tax, one hundred and eighty-eight thousand six hundred and ninety-one dollars and twenty-one cents. Service providers and contractors are also owed.”
Amidst the COVID-19 economic hardships that the Belmopan City Council is faced with, News Five has confirmed what the Council is unable to pay the twenty-four thousand one hundred and thirty-four dollars monthly installments on the National Bank of Belize loan. The National Bank of Belize, having First Legal Charge over the Belmopan City Hall, now has the authority to lay claim over the property due to outstanding payments. Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.