The Ministry of Communities has released $57 million to the Georgetown municipality to fund community projects in the 15 constituencies, Mayor Patricia Chase-Green announced on Monday.
Chase-Green made the announcement during the statutory meeting of the Georgetown city council.
Twelve constituencies have submitted proposals for projects and they were all given the green light by the Ministry of Communities. However, Constituency 1 – Kingston East & West, Thomas Lands, Non Pariel Park, Cummingsburg, Alberttown & Queenstown –and Constituency 15 –Meadow Bank/Agricola are yet to finalize their projects. While Constituency 6 – Cummings Lodge, North Central & South Pattensen Turkeyen – only submitted its final proposal on Monday.
The process by which the project would be awarded to a contractor was not disclosed. However, Town Clerk Royston King explained that a special committee will be established to monitor the process prior to the contracts being awarded. Sitting members of the committee will include members of the City’s Public Works Committee, the Town Clerk’s office and the City Treasurer’s Department.
While the money has been deposited into the council’s account, Chase-Green declared that unless an outline of the policy for their implementation is presented to council, works in the constituencies will not commence.
Chase-Green requested that the Town Clerk present to council the policy for the implementation of the constituency projects, while noting that it had been developed at a special meeting held last Saturday.
“We did meet and lay out the framework for the policy for how this would be done. We cannot go ahead and spend a set of money without a policy document,” the visibly-upset Mayor said. “We said that there must be a document which indicates the things that should be submitted by the contractor, so that we can move forward with the projects,” she added.
According to Chase-Green, King had indicated that the policy would be made available by noon on Monday for councillors to examine and approve at the statutory meeting.
King, however, disputed her recollection, while claiming that he had promised to present guidelines for engaging contractors.
The meeting degenerated into another shouting match as all the councillors present disputed King’s claim.
Councillor Heston Bostwick noted that it was another example of the council making decisions and the administration failing to implement same.
“We voted for and were assured that we would be provided with specifics of a policy. Now we are being told something else,” Bostwick angrily declared.
Chase-Green had also had enough and accused King of trying to sugarcoat administrative failings. “It’s like an ice-cream with sprinkles covering. I don’t want any covering. Town Clerk, I have had enough of your covering. When we leave a meeting with one understanding, don’t come to us and claim something else. All the councillors present on Saturday left with one understanding. Now, you are presenting something else. You are presenting us with this burdensome requirement but if you want to present us with that we know what to with it,” she said.
PPP/C Councillor Khame Sharma also argued that the development was another example of King disrespecting the chair and the council and demanded that an apology be issued.
Though Chase-Green contended that she did not believe the Town Clerk would dare disrespect her, King offered an apology before committing to provide the requested policy by yesterday.