City's presents $1.7B tax-free budget
--- $40M for roads, $80M for drainage
by Jaime Hall
May 29, 2004
THE Georgetown Mayor and City Council yesterday presented its $1.7 billion budget for this year with no proposals for increases in rates or taxes. However, City Hall will impose measures adopted during last year to ensure that there will be an increase in rate and tax collection.
Part of the measures will be that property owners who would like to do renovations to their buildings, fence, or walk-ways would first have to ensure they are not in arrears before approval is given by the council, Deputy Mayor Mr. Robert Williams in presenting the budget said. These were some of the areas where lapses occurred in the past, he noted.
Williams also said that approaches have already been made to settle all outstanding amounts due by government on state property.
There is a possibility of slight increases in revenue collected at municipal markets, interms of stalls being provided and approval for renovations of such stalls which, will attract increased rates.
The revenue budget projected for taxes and compliance is $1.4 billion; market fees $185 million; public health fees $32 million; engineer processing fees $61 million and administration $9 million.
He reported that Council have approved expenditure for capital works programme totaling $154 million. These works will entail phase two of the construction of the administrative bloc to accommodate offices and equipment in keeping with the pursuit of new technology and better management and good governance.
Offices will be established to decentralize the revenue collection system at Kitty, Campbellville, Agricola and Ruimveldt areas at the cost of $1.5 million. Mr. Williams said $2.4 million will be spent for the completion of accommodation facilities for officers of the meat and food inspection unit.
Under these works another excavator will be acquired to be used at the temporary land fill site which will cost $16 million but this amount would come from a government subvention.
Forty million dollars will be spent for repairs and maintenance of roads in the city. Sixteen million of this will be used to purchase equipment for the clearing of drains and alley ways and the outfalls.
The council proposes to desilt drains and canals in the Lacytown community at a cost of $13 million; Campbellville community and Wortmanville community $12 million each, Kitty $5 million and North and South Ruimveldt $14 million, Cummingsburg $5 million, Subryanville $3 million.
Those areas not mentioned in the budget presentation will be addressed directly by the councilís workforce.
Under the current work programe Council is in the process of reviewing seven of the 10 contracts for the collection of the household waste in the city. Contractors have until May 31, to submit their tenders.
With the review these contracts, a possibility exist for a three time per week clearance beginning from September 1, 2004 in areas where collection is done once per week, Williams said.
Efforts are being made to improve on the quality of the garbage collection services the council would provide, through the contractors.
Council will continue to use the current landfill site at Princess Street in an improve manner. During this year there will be clearing of canals outside the perimeters of the site.
The site will be covered with a thick layer of earth. The use of modern landfilled measures and procedures will be applied to contain any pollution either by air or surface water, the Deputy Mayor outlined.