City may suspend essential services

Stabroek News
September 30, 1999

The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) will soon be at a stage where it will not be able to provide certain essential services, because of its ongoing financial crisis.

A statement from the M&CC, says City Hall had been unsuccessfully pleading with its major debtors to satisfy their legal obligations.

The M&CC, at its statutory meeting on Monday, announced that it was in a financial bind and had extended its overdraft at the bank to pay workers.

There is no money to pay garbage disposal contractors and a few companies which had been collecting rubbish in the city have gone on strike since Monday. Garbage disposal contractors are reportedly owed over $15 million.

The M&CC statement said if the situation did not improve, it was likely that the entire city would be affected.

According to the statement, City Hall has been making every effort to improve its performance. Work completed for this year includes major rehabilitation of city facilities including roads, the statement said. It said the M&CC has expended over $200 million of the rates collected to finance these works. This, according to M&CC, was separate from routine operations.

The council said it has collected over 120 tonnes of rubbish daily even from outside the city limits. Council has also expended $900,000 on the rehabilitation of the Stabroek Market to avoid a tragedy. However, because of inadequate funds, council will be forced to reopen the market. Engineers felt the repairs done have averted danger, but the problem of the "structural soundness" would have to be addressed urgently.

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