City Hall being restored to former glory

Kaieteur News
March 20, 2007

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The current state of the city's enhancement efforts has been rated highly in terms of preparation, as measures are being put in place to ensure maintenance works are sustained.

Georgetown Mayor Hamilton Green made this disclosure yesterday when he hosted a press conference at City Hall. While unable to give a percentage rate of the enhancement works completed, Green revealed that, though the Council and the Government have been working in collaboration, the assistance and support of private and public citizens are imperative.

“We need to work with the community and businesses in order to optimise our human and financial resources. It is clear that the Government and municipal agencies alone could not secure the integrity of the city and the state, but at all times require optimum cooperation of the public.”

From the onset, Mayor Green said that he, along with the Deputy Mayor, made it clear that they would do everything within their power to ensure that the city is in a state of readiness, not only for Cricket World Cup, but way beyond. As such, during a Council meeting, a suggestion was made that Guyana 's hosting of CWC should be regarded as a catalyst to better enable physical management of the capital city.

And it was in this regard that the Downtown Enhancement Committee was formulated last year, the Mayor recounted, as he lauded the support of various business entities, which he said contributed significantly to the Council's effort. He pointed out, too, that several individual members of some communities have also been active in their support.

Additionally, Mayor Green revealed that a project was launched last week with minibus and hire car owners, which was aimed at reducing the problem of littering.

“This has indicated that they are a little more conscious of the important role they need to play in ensuring the cleanliness and upkeep of the city.”

The city mayor also highlighted renovation efforts which are ongoing at City Hall, which he noted are being done in three stages, with the first being “a temporary operation to ensure that it looks good to the public, because it is considered a national monument.” The second deals with the major structural works, and thirdly, works to rehabilitate the interior and exterior works, he pointed out.

The project, which is aimed at recapturing the beauty of City Hall, is currently in its first stage, and will cost several million dollars, according to the Mayor, since it includes works to the Mayor's and Engineer's Complexes, and the Constabulary section. “This stage is already completed, and already it looks a little better,” the Mayor admitted.

City Engineer Beverly Johnson also briefed members of the media on ongoing works around the city. “We are doing a lot of work with regards to maintenance of bridges, roads, repairing of street furniture, such as benches, along the avenue. We are also repairing the traffic islands, to ensure that traffic is safer.”

Johnson also revealed that a series of drainage works were completed recently around the city in Prashad Nagar, Werk-en-Rust, Wortmanville, Kingston , Kitty, Bel Air Park , Gardens, and Springs, and the Lacytown and Bourda areas.

“Some of these areas we are looking at again especially those areas in central Georgetown where we have started maintenance work.”

The City Engineer revealed that maintenance is important because, over the years, the Council had implemented several projects and spent large sums, which were constrained due to the lack of maintenance. “The maintenance is what is important, so that we can be geared for the World Cup, and we will keep what we have done up to standard.” Another major operation the Council is attempting to undertake is the sprucing-up of Le Repentir cemetery which, she noted, has been a problem for a while.

“We have given out a contract for its upkeep, and we are hoping that it will be maintained in good order. We are also inviting people who have their relatives' remains there to get on board with us, so that after it is cleaned they can come and paint and contribute to the enhancement.”

Deputy Mayor Robert Williams informed that the Council has designated specific days for the painting efforts – March 20 (today) to March 23 (Friday) – so relatives can prepare themselves by acquiring paint and other materials. He further related that the Council will provide limited assistance to those families who may not be able to purchase the required materials, and as such, will provide paint and necessary supplies at affordable prices.

This, he noted, is necessary since the Council intends to launch ‘Operation Respect for the Dead' on March 24 (Saturday), which should eventually see every single tomb in the cemetery painted.