Please refer to a letter captioned ‘Old people were given a $6,000 pension increase per year and Council wants $10,400 for garbage collection’.
We are grateful for the feedback on our proposed projects and planned programmes. Indeed, feedback is essential to the process of effective communication. However, the author has not taken all the facts on this particular matter into consideration. It must be noted that the consultation as it relates to the proposed fee is ongoing with the completion of one round of consultation, which concluded on February 2. Another round is scheduled to commence from March 7.
It is important that citizens understand that the Council has not arrived at a final fee in this regard. The Council would only announce a fee after duly consulting with all stakeholders involved in this matter. Therefore, the $200 per barrel remains a suggested amount; it is not cast in stone. Further, the consultation process would address all other related issues such as a special approach to benefit our senior citizens.
In the past, the Council has always treated well with all of its ratepayers, including senior citizens, by granting amnesties on interest on rates yearly. It must be known that on many occasions’ senior citizens, who are experiencing financial difficulties have benefited from a wavier of interest and under other conditions have received a total exemption of rates with the approval of the subject Minister, in keeping with the Municipal and District Councils Act Chapter 28:01.
Also, the writer must consider the fact that rates have not increased in twenty years and the collection of a garbage collection fee would basically subsidize the cost of providing this service. Presently, in some sections of Georgetown and other outlying communities, residents are paying as much as $500 per barrel for the collection and disposal of waste. The aim is really to give ratepayers in the city an opportunity to share the responsibility of this vital municipal service.
Public Relations Officer