The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and the Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) on Monday announced that they would be filing objections to the parking meter by-laws.
Approved last week by 13 of the councillors who were present, the by-laws have been posted up at several locations across the City for 14 days to allow citizens to make objections. The Chamber and MAPM intend to send a copy of their objections to Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan who they said have in the past refused to meet with them to discuss the issue of metered parking.
Not ruling out a resumption of protests outside City Hall, the two organisations are adamant that the parking meter contract between the City’s administration and Smart City Solutions is bad for businesses.
They said there was no impact assessment, feasibility study or means test to determine persons ability to pay, but evidence from the brief period of metered parking had resulted in a severe slump in business activity. Also of concern is the award of the contract to Smart City Solutions in alleged breach of municipal and national procurement tender procedures.
“If these things are properly addressed in a proper manner, we would have no objection to parking meter system in the City,” said Marcel Gaskin of MAOM.
Asked what the Chamber and MAOM thought would be reasonable parking fees if their concerns were to be properly addressed, Gaskin said such a figure could only emerge from a proper feasibility study and gathering of data.
“For us to say what a reasonable rate should be is impossible,” he said.
Executive member of the GCCI, Komal Ramnauth appealed to the authorities: “Do not come with exorbitant fees that will result in reduced customer business”.
The Chamber fears that fewer people will come to Georgetown to shop if the Minister of Communities approves the by-laws and the meters are reactivated.
A City Hall-Smart Citt negotiation has recommended GY$150 per hour or GY$800 per hour.