City to begin receiving govt arrears

Stabroek News
October 9, 1999

Cash-strapped City Hall as of yesterday should have been in receipt of funds allocated in the budgets of government ministries for the payment of rates on buildings, according to President Bharrat Jagdeo.

At a press briefing at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday, President Jagdeo said he had given instructions for the release of the funds.

City Hall has suspended some of its essential services including garbage collection because it has no funds. Government owes City Hall $417 million for buildings it owns in Georgetown.

Deputy Mayor, Robert Williams, told Stabroek News yesterday that all that had been received so far was $2 million from the Office of the President/Public Service Management, Waterloo Street for 1997.

President Jagdeo said that during discussions with Mayor Hamilton Green earlier in the week about urban development, the city has been reminded of the need for its accounts to be audited.

According to President Jagdeo, City Hall's accounts have not been audited since 1987. Moreover, he said that the person who had been assisting City Hall to bring its accounts up to date had given up in frustration. However, President Jagdeo said that he had informed Green that he would prefer to start with the 1998 accounts being audited and to deal with the backlog subsequently. The accounting firm of Ram and McRae was assisting the Treasurer's Department in bringing its accounts up to date.

President Jagdeo said that the audited accounts would allow the government to ascertain how much revenue was collected by the municipality and how it was being spent.

President Jagdeo said too that he had not been informed in his meeting with Green about the reported waste management agreement the city had concluded with the Canadian company, TCR a subsidiary of a another Canadian company, Bach Hauser.

Williams said that City Hall had signed a letter of intent with TCR, which designs recycling facilities. He explained too that both City Hall and the local office of the Inter-American Development Bank had been in receipt of proposals by a number of companies to design, build, own and transfer waste disposal facilities. There have been proposals too for the use of landfill and composting or incineration techniques for disposing of the tonnes of garbage the city generates daily. (Patrick Denny)

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