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City Hall/ government team up for city’s $1 Billion restoration program

Minister of Communities (centre) Ronald Bulkan, flanked by other officials of his ministry and the Georgetown Municipality.

by Zena Henry

In what seemed almost unimaginable just months ago, the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) and Central government have pledged stronger ties in restoring the city.

The then Local Government Ministry had been at odds with the Council for years under the People’s Progressive Party (PPP). Now under the Communities Ministry, the entities have rekindled an almost non-existent relationship as they move forward to expend more than $1billion to return the “Garden City to its former glory.”

That is according to both Chief Citizen Hamilton Green and Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan. The two explained their plans for the city at a recent press conference at the Ministry’s headquarters when Green charged that the “evil” be left in the past, while calling this new collaboration a “grand quarter.”

Just last year when GUY$500 million was spent by the former administration to clean the city, the Council had not be involved as the then government charged gross corruption against the entity and their lack of transparency.
Green said, “As far as Georgetown is concerned… we are looking forward to the grand quartet to make restoration a reality in the shortest possible time. We now have the assurance of the state enthusiast, involvement and input.”

Minister Bulkan highlighted that, “In this instance, all of the activites that is being funded under this (budget) allocation will be activites directly identified by M&CC. The former program where the Georgtown Council was excluded, there would be a total reversal of that.”

Bulkan added however that, “The allocation will not be made directly to the city council, but the ministry will retain oversight over the expenditure and we have already started discussions and engagements with the Council to establish transparent and accountable mechanisms to ensure awards for the various contracts so all the activites are done in a very open, transparent and accountable manner.”

Green noted that outside of those allocations work has already commenced in the city, pointing to massive cleaning currently taking place at the Kingston outfall channel.

Drainage has been a major concern for the city since clogged drains, blocked cannals contribute to flooding. The 2015 budget provided over $700million to deal with this matter.

Another $300 million was allocated for the clean up phase of the work. Already, there has been noticable change around the city as a result of the massive clearing and cleaning. Most noticable is the constant and timely repair of main roads by the Public Infrastructure Ministry, another entity rendering assistance in the clean up.

City Hall says it is on a quest to reclaim the City and warned citizens that they either get a new attitude about the city Georgetown and the environment or face the law for violations.