Press Release - San Pedro Town Board, January 21st, 1998 - The San Pedro Town Board, having struggled with an inherited bankrupted and indebted office by the past administration. 1994 - 997, was instructed by the Supreme Court to pay Mr. Harmouche of San Pedro Hardware the sum of $34,000.00.
On January 12th, 1997, the Mayor Alberto Nuñez, Deputy Mayor Elito Arceo and Councilors Pedro Ayuso, Omar Guerrero, Eiden Salazar, Manuel "Junior" Heredia (past Mayor - 94/97 and now UDP Standard Bearer for Belize Rural South) signed a loan of $150,000.00 at Belize Bank to pay and avoid any further court rulings towards the Town Board and people of San Pedro.
The amount of $34,000.00 goes towards outstanding bills incurred by the past administration that amounted to $64,000.00 as per the store owner. An inquiry made by the legal advisers of the present Town Board only found validated invoices for $34,000.00. The Town Board and Mr. Harmouche are still revising and debating the balance of the indebted $74,000.00. An inventory by the Town Board to investigate the products supplied by the said company indicates some of it never reached the Board. Either they were non existent or used person by the past administration; according to staff members they were never aware of any purchase.
As instructed by the ruling of the Supreme Court, the San Pedro Town Board had to pay San Pedro Hardware the following check of $34,000.00. This would have never happened if transparency and proper management was administered by the past administration and there was accountability. This has been an immediate solution to avoid being sanctioned by the present Central Government and Supreme Court. A case in point is the Corozal Town Board. Whereas the Corozal Town Board compromised to do immediate payments to National Hardware Store towards the sum of $23,000.00. The default of payment would result in confiscation or auction of Town Board equipment. Similar cases have amounted in the towns of Orange Walk, San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Benque Viejo, Stann Creek and Punta Gorda Boards. Whereas the accountability and inventory are nowhere to be found in the board of such purchase or purchase order.
$34,000.00 is a very large amount of money to be paid and not be able to account for it. It saddened the San Pedro Town Board elected to serve and administrate the people of San Pedro. This money could have gone to the schools that desperately need it, then there is the health clinic that could have bought needed medication, and again there is San Pedrito where land filling is a priority, to name a few.
Other outstanding bills that were incurred and have to be paid immediately are the following: Government of Belize $62,500.00 (part of an emergency loan of $75,000.00 given to the past UDP town Board to do petty projects in February prior to Town Board elections in March), Dr. Lala $52,000.00 (part of an $80,000.00 loan money used for the marina road that has never been finished), Witte & Witte $13,000.00, and Caribbean Coves $173,000.00 to name a few.
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