City to extend garbage fee consultations due to low turnout

Public consultations on the proposed fee for residential garbage collection will be extended, Solid Waste Director of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) Walter Narine said yesterday, after explaining that the meetings held so far have attracted a poor turnout.

The second round of consultations are scheduled to begin on February 26th and will last for one week.

Narine said during a media briefing yesterday that most of the attendees at the meetings were in favour of the fee, but added that the opinions were not representative because of the low turnout rate.

According to Narine, around 80% of the attendees were in favour of the fee. He noted that others were opposed, citing the fact that they pay rates and taxes as the basis.

The council’s solution is to amplify its marketing efforts, with the plan being to utilise social media and call-in programmes, and to meet citizens within their communities. Narine related that they would begin first in places of worship, and then facilitate meetings through the councillors.

Last month, Mayor Patricia Chase-Green directed that the citizens of Georgetown be consulted on the proposed implementation of a residential charge for Garbage disposal after Town Clerk Royston King announced that M&CC would be moving to charge residents a per barrel fee for garbage collection from the start of February. King stressed that the sums garnered would be used to assist the cash-strapped municipality in offsetting the extremely high cost of the service.

At the close of the first statutory meeting of the year, Councillors were told that they had approved the fee in principle at the last meeting of December 27, 2017.

While the Town Clerk sought to explain the rationale of the fee Chairman of the Finance Committee Oscar Clarke requested that the administration make sure to bring to the next meeting an analysis of all implications of the proposed measure so that it can be properly considered by council.

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