Businesses unite to address community problems

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 17, No. 41            October 25, 2007

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A concern was the fact that North Ambergris Caye has no proper garbage collection system.

The San Pedro Business Association (35 businesses strong and counting) held its October General Meeting held at the San Pedro Lions Den. There was a large turnout of business owners and representatives who eagerly attended the call to voice their concerns. Many were the issues discussed but three are the main ones which will be addressed.

    The first issue is garbage collection and proper disposal or if. “Garbage seems to just be piled everywhere,” commented a business owner. However, falling into the garbage issue was the proper collection of it and the fact that it has been day since the truck has made its rounds in certain areas of town. Honorable Manuel Heredia, Area Representative for Belize Rural South was present for the meeting and attempted to shed much light on the concern. He stated that the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) understands the need for a proper collection vehicle and that the trucks used now no longer fit into the San Pedro busy lifestyle. “SPTC has looked into buying one or two small compactor truck. However, as always, money is an issue or the lack thereof.” Some commented that the hours that the truck works could be changed so that the collection of garbage is carried out late at night or very early in the morning. Honorable Heredia explained that the sanitary engineers already work those hours requested. “They begin work as early as 2:00 a.m., work throughout the day ending sometimes as late as 6:00 p.m.” Another garbage concern was the fact that North Ambergris Caye has no proper garbage collection system. It was stated that SPTC would place a bin on the South End of the bridge. “This bin though is completely over flowed with trash. The dogs and raccoons get into it and it becomes a bigger mess,” commented Rebecca Arceo. Honorable Heredia stated that he would look into it.

    The second concern was the money sent to SPTC by Central Government. SPTC receives $69,000 a year for infrastructure and maintenance purposes. Along with that, monies collected from property taxes, trade and liquor licenses remain on the island for the council’s use. However, SPBA is hoping to speak with Central Government to plead that a percentage of the Business Taxes sent to them monthly remains on the island. “As business owners we know how much money we sent to Central Government every month and it is a lot. We are not asking for everything because we know that they need it and that other parts in the country need it as well. All we want is a percentage. A percentage to stay here not to go to them and then they send it back. No, we want it to remain here for the Town’s use,” commented Arceo.

    More details of what was discussed at the October meeting will be posted on the SPBA website. The need for more membership was the final point addressed. “The more membership we have the bigger response we can get. Remember that this Association began when we lobbied government for money for the streets. Together, strong and with the same agenda, the San Pedro Business Association can accomplish a lot,” ended Arceo.

    Other issues of concern which will be tackled in the near future include traffic and security. For further information about SPBA please contact (501) 226.4474
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