Oct 28, 2016 News
– City Hall says claims “utterly false and malicious”
Four large swimming pools lodged on the city’s parapets along Sheriff Street were removed by City Council yesterday, as the entity took steps to get rid of encumbrances on the municipality’s reserve, in the Section ‘K’
However, Amazonia Swimming Pool Company Guyana, the company that owns the pools said City Hall’s actions were premature. A representative of the company, Shelliza Allie, said a City Council employee contacted her on Monday October 17 at 7:30pm. The individual identified himself as Colvern Venture, Chief City Engineer.
Allie said she was informed that the company was in breach of the law, by displaying swimming pools on the outside of the building. She added that she was invited to a meeting to discuss the issue in order to meet an amicable solution.
However Allie did not attend the meeting.
Allie added that the company could not understand what amicable solution would arise from the company breaking the law. Moreover, Allie said the company felt as if they were being asked indirectly to offer bribes to officials to turn a blind eye to this situation.
It was added that the council, through Venture, was informed that the company would comply and remove the swimming pools. However the company representative noted that her entity was never served with a notice.
Allie said Venture informed her on Monday October 24, last, via whatsapp messages, that if he served the notice the company would have 48 hours to comply before action is taken by the council. The woman said she told Chief Engineer that the company is in process of moving the pools, but needed the notice for their records and for the landlord of the premises.
Allie said she asked for up to tomorrow (Saturday October 29), to remove the pools, and was granted such time by Venture, who informed her that council was aware of the time granted and that the issue was being discussed by the committee at the time.
The woman said the company proceeded to move the pools, but the truck they were using experienced mechanical failure.
Allie added that she was called by a colleague who informed her that the Town Clerk, Royston King, was undertaking an exercise to destroy and dump the swimming pools.
“When our workmen and security arrived, two pools valued over 17 million dollars were already removed from the premises. Mr. Langevine ,who was in charge of the operation, refused to speak with me to explain the situation. He told the security that he ‘will not speak to no f…ing body on the phone.’” Allie said.
However City Hall is telling an entirely different story.
Debra Lewis, Public Relations Officer (PRO) at City Hall, when informed of the claims made by the company, deemed the statements as “utterly false and malicious”.
Lewis said that last week Thursday, the City Engineer, Superintendent Langevine and herself, conducted site visits at two locations where encumbrances were identified – Amazonia Swimming Pool Company Guyana, was one of them. The PRO added that several residents in the area had complained to City Hall about the location of the pools.
Lewis said that while complaints were made, the council was already monitoring the situation. The official added that via a telephone number displayed on the fence of the premises, contact was made with a female individual.
Lewis said at the time of her visit there were only two pools displayed outside, the pools, she noted, were blocking the drains and were a traffic hazard to anyone trying to manoeuvre in the area. This, she said, prompted the council to take action.
Lewis said that Amazonia Swimming Pool Company Guyana is not the only company being looked at. She noted that a Campbellville businessman, who used to place cold storage containers on the roadway was also asked to remove them. She said that the businessman complied almost immediately.
Lewis noted that the businessman attended the meeting as requested by City Hall, resulting in an amicable solution.
City Mayor Patricia Chase-Green said that the owners of the pool can uplift them, once they pay the removal fees. The pools are currently lodged at the municipality’s Stone Depot.
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