– year described as “eventful and thriving”
ROSE HALL TOWN, CORENTYNE – Chairman of the Rose Hall Interim Management Committee, Bhadenauth Somrah, has described 2008 as being an eventful and thriving year – one of the best for the life of the township. This, he hopes, would continue this year.
According to him, though 2008 greeted the council with a deficit, the body was able to achieve a surplus by the end of the year. He explained that in order to achieve this expenditure was curtailed and prioritized.
The Chairman bragged that hope and confidence were restored among the members of the Interim Management Committee (IMC), the staff and residents. “There is a lot more to be done, but if the residents do not pay their rates and taxes promptly, the council would not be able to deliver its mandate. May we all work together in 2009.”
Income from rates and taxes dropped by $2 million when compared to 2007. Last year $5.2 million was collected and in 2007 the figure stood at $7.3 million.
In 2008 the market revenue, without any budgetary increase, went up by $150,000 monthly, in December that figure rose to $1.5 million.
According to Mr. Somrah, the flow of earnings enabled the IMC to increase salary and wages twice in 2008, the last being in July.
Last year, wages and salaries amounted to $1.3 million monthly and this, he said, was paid on time each month. A 50 percent bonus amounting to $450,000 was paid to 43 members of staff and councilors last month.
Some 60 new trays were added to the green grocery section and a side wing was extended to protect the vendors and their produce from the rainfall. These projects were executed to the tune of $400,000.
Three tractors and trailers were also repaired at a cost of $600,000. The Interim Management Committee, Mr. Somrah said, assisted the Regional Administration in providing operators, watchmen and mechanics for the operation of the hydro-pump station at Rose Hall Town.
The Council also saw a breakthrough in relation to severance pay, gratuity and leave passage thus allowing some $400,000 to be paid to three staff members and the former Chairman Bevon Sinclair.
Some of the funds garnered were used on developmental work within the township. Foot path bridges were constructed in minor streets, the internal drainage system was maintained and a reliable garbage collection system was put in place within the township. This year there will be some changes.
“After being confident that we can sustain our expenditure and close the year with a plus, the Interim Management Committee agreed to honour the Guyana Labour Union’s recommendation to abolish long leave and pay leave passage in 2009.”
The Chairman is appealing to residents to use garbage bags, drums and like receptacles to store their waste and ensure that this is disposed of in the proper manner. To this end tractors are scheduled to visit specific areas at given times twice weekly.
In light of the recent flood situation, Mr. Somrah is calling on residents to ensure that their yards and access drains are maintained.
Meanwhile, under the Rose Hall Town IMC’s Capital Work Programme for 2008, using the Government Subvention, a minor street (Ho-A-Yun) was constructed with internal drains at a cost of $3.9 million.
According to Mr. Somrah , his team is in the process of building a heavy duty bridge, an RC Culvert and an access dam together these are intended to give access to the town’s dumpsite.
This project is being executed by contractor Somdat Lorrick of the Upper Corentyne area, at a cost of $8 million.
The Chairman of the IMC noted that the drainage system of the entire township is not up to standard. “This is because the town does not have access to machinery and finance to alleviate the township. This rainy season, even though we have acquired a pump via the Region, it is not sufficient given the geographical disadvantage that our landscape presents.”
Further, he added that the members of the Interim Management Committee would be more comfortable and responsive to problems arising from the drainage system should the necessary finance and machinery be made available to them.
He said that in December, rainfall in Rose Hall Town was the highest in several years, however, figures were not readily available. “The movement of water off the land was very slow thus causing floods and in turn sickness to some persons. Some crops and livestock were affected but low/flat buildings were more affected. We are hoping that in 2009 this would be given some attention by Central Government.”
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