Features — 28 February 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks

Central government is partnering with the Belize City Council for phase two of the city’s infrastructure project, which will see the continued rehabilitation and concreting of at least 40 more streets from 10 million dollars of assistance being provided by Government.

The announcement was made today at a press conference hosted by Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow and Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley.

Prime Minister Barrow said that the torrential rains have “done a number” on the streets of Belize City, and it is on that basis that the central government has allocated 10 million dollars for repair of the city.

Barrow had high praise for Mayor Bradley and the City Council for coming up “on their own with the municipal bond,” which saw the beginning of the concreting of Belize City streets.

The Prime Minister said that if Belize City will get $10 million, then the other municipalities will get something in the region of $2 million dollars each for rehabilitation of their streets.

Corozal, Benque, Belmopan and the other municipalities will also be beneficiaries of the infrastructure projects being funded by central government, Barrow explained.

“I don’t think anybody can quarrel with the size of the contribution to Belize City, because each and every single municipality will also benefit from Government’s largesse,” Barrow said.

Barrow said he asked Mayor Bradley what he will do about the earthen streets, since he is getting the $10 million to construct more concrete streets, and he said the mayor assured him that he will set aside the funds of a $2 million loan to address those streets.

“I was privileged to see the mayor’s balance sheet and know that he can service that $2 million loan, and the central government will guarantee it”, said Barrow.

He added that right now the focus is on infrastructure, pledging that his government will “ride this right through to the municipal election in 2015”.

Mayor Bradley outlined the second phase of the infrastructure project, and drew attention to the countless benefits that will be generated by the infrastructure project.

Bradley said that the central government has been the trendsetter, in rolling out an aggressive development program that has been centered on infrastructural development. He pointed to the Ministry of Works’ Poverty Alleviation Project that has seen the resurfacing of Collet Canal and the beginning of work on Central American Boulevard.

Bradley said that the development that residents and visitors to Belize City are seeing will continue.

“Everywhere you go in Belize City, you will see work going on; it may be by the central government or by the City Council,” said the mayor, adding that “this has caused some disquiet, because it has affected traffic.”

“But we cannot deny the fact that substantial work has gone on over the last two years in Belize City,” he went on to note.

Bradley said the work that has been done with the municipal bond, which is now coming to a close, has seen the concreting of 102 streets.

“We had set the target of 100 streets from the $20 million municipal bond and we have met our target”, he said.

After the second wave of the infrastructure project, Bradley’s map that he uses to monitor the progress of the works being done will show 140 streets concreted.

One in three streets will be concreted in a short two-year period, the Mayor said. The second phase of the project will see 35 more streets concreted, at a cost of a little below $10 million, Bradley said.

The Mayor said that by the time the elections come around every primary street in Belize City that connects people from one area to another would have been concreted.

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