Georgetown Town Clerk Royston King has committed to ensuring that contracts and money are available to commence planned constituency projects by next Monday.
King made the commitment during a statutory town council meeting on Monday after pleading on behalf of the City Engineer’s Department for additional time.
The City Engineer is still drafting the contracts, the meeting heard.
The City Council has received $57,688,022 from the Ministry of Communities for the execution of the projects in 12 of the 15 constituencies of Georgetown.
Deputy Mayor Akeem Peter chaired the proceedings at the statutory meeting and after listening to councillors’ concerns, he granted the time to the City Engineer’s Department. This was done on the grounds that King would assure the council that the contracts and money would be ready for signing on Monday.
King, in response, agreed to the terms.
It was noted that because the contract is a legally binding document, careful consideration must be given during the drafting period.
Councillors complained over the delay in the awarding of contracts for the planned projects after Constituency 10 (Albouystown/ Charles-town) councillor Heston Bostwick queried if any contract was awarded.
King, in response to the query, told the councillor that no contract was awarded as they were still being drafted by City Engineer Colvern Venture.
Asking for an estimated time in which the drafts would be completed, Venture said a week. His response did not go down well with Bostwick and the other councillors, who said the Engineer’s Department and administration are dragging their feet on the projects.
“We sat in this council and agreed that the projects would commence on June 14th and conclude in September. A week has already gone and nothing has started… We cannot accept this, Mr. Chairman. I ask that we set a time for these contracts to be finished. If the officers have to work Sunday or Saturday they should because they are taking too long,” a riled Bostwick said.
He received the support of Councillors Andrea Marks and Welton Clarke. Clarke pointed out that the Engineer’s Department in the past has dragged its feet on matters and continues to do so. In this regard, he called on the department to improve its image.
A special committee was set up to disburse, manage and evaluate the projects. This committee comprises Mayor Patricia Chase-Green, Chairman of the Finance Committee Oscar Clarke, Chairman of the City Works Committee Phillip Smith, City Treasurer (ag) Sharon Harry-Munroe and Venture.
Councillors for each of the 15 constituencies were invited to submit proposals for projects, totalling $5 million. So far, 12 submissions from 12 constituencies have been received and approved by the Ministry. (Constituencies 1, 6 and 15 have not yet had projects approved.) The majority of the projects focus on the clearing and desilting of drains and alleyways as well as the installation of street lights.