…wants 60% of bridge tolls
Mayor of Linden, Carwyn Holland, yesterday expressed his grave concern at the town’s debt, and is calling for a bailout of $200M or more.
According to Holland, Linden is in debt and $200M would help to develop the region and rid
the debts. A request has been made through a letter to the Ministry of Communities; the mayor is still awaiting a response.
When Holland took office in 2016, he relayed that a young enthusiastic group of councillors was confronted with the gigantic debt of $200M. He explained that the municipality has been working effortlessly to repay the debt. However with the government pushing to have self sufficient local government organs, it is hard to pay the debt and run the town smoothly.
The town is indebted to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), and several other persons. “It is a monkey on our back which we need to get off,” Holland reiterated.
The Mayor added that the city has been bailed out many times. “Lots of rain has been failing in the capital city; in Linden we have some rain falling as well and we need bail out too,” tangible bailout, Holland said. There will be debt for the next “…30, 40 years if we don’t get that bailout,” he added.
Linden needs to revisit and meet with the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL). Holland said that Linden depends heavily on the money from the Linden/Mackenzie Bridge. However most of the finances are under the control of NICIL Holland explained.
“That is something that needs to be discussed.” The heavy duty trucks that cross the bridge are the same vehicles that are damaging the roads. The revenue is needed to up keep the roads and aid in developing the town, he said.
Holland said that the town is not too comfortable but the municipality is currently in discussion with NICIL. The town has pushed so far as to have councillors on the managing committee but needs to get more on the inside. In terms of the management and the allocation of the resources that comes from the bridge – “We need a larger share,” Holland noted.
The Mayor believes that for years Linden has been paying its dues for that bridge. “It’s about time that that bill is cleared so that it can be back in the hands of the people of Linden.” Holland says that 60 percent from NICIL would be a fair amount for the town.
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