City Hall could receive second $10M tranche this week
– Minister Lall
City Hall is likely to receive the second tranche of the monthly $10M Government support before the end of this week, according to Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Kellawan Lall.
The Minister’s disclosure came during a press conference at his ministry’s Fort Street Kingston, Boardroom.
Lall revealed that last week Tuesday he had received the final report on the first tranche of the money.
He admitted that he is satisfied with the accomplishments, although there were some challenges in the initial stage.
According to the Minister, he believes that the projects have worked out smoothly, adding that he is confident that things will be better organised to undertake projects that will be funded by the second tranche.
“Probably this week the second tranche will be released, but we still have to go through the formality of indicating to the Minister of Finance that those of us tasked with the responsibility of monitoring the situation are satisfied. We are going to do that as urgently as possible so that we could have the money to pay the people”.
And according to the Minister, those that have been employed to complete the various enhancement projects in the city are very dedicated persons.
“They have a totally new work ethic and a new culture. The City Council has not been able to get their employees to work the same. These people work beyond the call of duty.”
The Minister emphasised that the retained workers, who represent persons who were previously unemployed, have been engaging works that have not been done for the last 30 years in the city.
“I have gone around myself and I have seen what they are doing with their bare hands, cleaning drains and so.”
According to the Minister, the City Council could emulate what is being done by the workers in order to improve the way it currently functions.
However, he noted that the workers are serving to free up the municipality in a sense so that it could focus on other areas of improving the state of the city.
“This set of employees of about 100, are not to be mixed up with City Council’s normal routine. They are doing a task according to an agreed plan between myself, Minister Robeson Benn and the City Council,” the Minister explained.
Just recently, Deputy Mayor Robert Williams revealed that the municipality has started planning for the second tranche. He had disclosed that about 150 persons are likely to be gainfully employed this time around.
This round of funding will be directed to road repairs and other works as part of enhancement plans to be carried out ahead of the Heads of Government meeting which is slated for early next month.
Williams pointed out that the first tranche of money was expended on the clearing of areas, primarily in Cummingsburg and Lacytown, and saw the employment of 75 labourers who were not previously employed. They were paid a total of $2,500 each day they worked, which was characteristic of them clearing alleyways, drains and parapets, Williams said.
The money was also utilised on the repair of vehicles and equipment.
President Bharrat Jagdeo at a simple ceremony last March, disclosed Government’s plan to assist the municipality with $120M in its quest to improve the capital city. A total of $10M he said would be paid out over a 12-month period.
He had also stipulated the conditions under which the funding will be made available, asserting that the money will be accessible once the municipality is able to meet some outlined conditions.
The city entity was able to tap into the financial support last April after presenting the government with a detailed proposal of works that the money could fund.