City Hall seeks $600M bailout from Government
During the Mayor and City Council (M&CC)’s statutory meeting at City Hall, a motion was passed which will allow the Council to assemble a delegation to approach the Communities Minister, Ronald Bulkan, city-hallwith hopes of acquiring a $600M bailout.
The motion was put forward by Councilor Junior Garrett; it was seconded and unanimously carried by the Council. The team will seek to engage the Minister by tomorrow. This development comes at a time when media reports have heightened about the Council being cash-strapped. Also, the media was reliably informed that two companies a few weeks ago served an ultimatum threatening to end their services, after the Council could not satisfy the multimillion-dollar bill that was issued to them for solid waste disposal services. The Council was given up to last week Monday to settle all outstanding debts. Mayor Patricia Chase-Green was in favor of the decision. She stated that the intervention will result in City Hall being able to pay its workers by November 25, thus eliminating protests. The Council’s endeavor will also come at a time when Guyana is preparing to welcome Britain’s Prince Harry in just a few weeks, the Mayor added. Deputy Mayor Sherod Duncan, during his remarks, opined that before such an obligation is undertaken, the Council should formulate a plan to prevent City Hall from slipping into debt yet again.
This suggestion got support from the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Oscar Clarke, who echoed that the plan be well designed to avoid the Council running back to Central Government. Duncan also suggested that the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) be required to pay for utilizing city reserves. He added that the M&CC is indebted to the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) and suggested that the option of having the utility company pay to use reserves be fully examined. This, he opined, would alleviate some of the strain the Council is facing. He further suggested that discussions be held with both service providers to find solutions. Duncan also stressed the need for a larger budget for the City.