– March bill close to $2M
Despite claiming to be “cash-strapped” and rolling on battered bearings, the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is serving up enormous chunks of money to private waste management entities for the rental of portable toilets.
Kaieteur News has heard from a reliable source and has seen documents which illustrate that the Council, for the month of March alone, would have expended a total sum of $1,839,960 for the rental of these facilities from two companies.
This is occurring against the background of calls being made by citizens for the establishment of more public restrooms within the Georgetown Municipality.
This revelation also comes at a time when Government is promoting cost-cutting measures within its various Ministries and government agencies.
The Town Clerk, Royston King, has been listed as one of the beneficiaries. He has one of these facilities on his premises, which is being rented to the tune of $80,080 per month.
According to sources, the facility is being used by the security guards stationed at King’s Canal Place, South Ruimveldt Park home.
The table below illustrates where these facilities were placed, how many were placed, and the price that was paid for the month of March, 2017:
A City Hall official told Kaieteur News yesterday that the millions of dollars being paid by City Hall
to these waste management companies can reduce significantly if the entity moves to construct private sanitary facilities throughout the city.
These facilities, he noted, can bring in significant earnings for the Council.
“They can charge persons to use these facilities. They can also be used for commercial purposes by companies that wish to decorate these facilities with their slogans, et cetera.”
He noted also that it was “high time” for the M&CC to start “thinking outside of the box”.
“The rental of these facilities is hurting the Council and by extension, the citizens of Georgetown. It is unfortunate that the Council cannot shake this cultural thing of renting facilities. It is time the Council becomes landlords.”
Back in 2016, Oscar Clarke had told the Council during a statutory meeting that the cost for portable toilets had escalated and steps needed to be taken.
At that time, the Municipality was paying approximately $1M every month for the rental of these portable facilities.
Years ago, the City Council, constructed several permanent facilitates throughout the city. The contracts to manage these utilities were allocated to private contractors. However, due to weak oversight, many became unsanitary and persons opted to use alternative facilities.
Clarke opined during that meeting, that the Council should “relook” the whole question of
maintaining the public facilities.
Kaieteur News contacted one of the waste management companies yesterday, and was told the monthly cost to rent these facilities would vary depending on the number of times the facility will have to be “cleared” (emptied, washed and re-stocked with chemicals and toilet paper).
The number of times to be cleared per month is totally up to the person renting the facility, a source from the company said.
“But we do once-a-week clearing. If you want it cleared like two times a week, then we will charge more,” the individual said.
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