UPDATE; City Councillors differ on amendments to parking meter contract
A Special Meeting was today convened by the Mayor and City Councillors to discuss the controversial Parking Meter Contract and vote on proposed amendments to the said contract.
During the meeting, the Councillors shared mix views about the project being pushed by the Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green, Town Clerk, Royston King and others in the hierarchy of the Council.
The Mayor attempted to once again persuade her colleagues on the introduction of parking meters within Georgetown. She noted that she is satisfied that the decision was made since the company, Smart City Solutions Inc, is ideal to roll out the initiative.
According to many councillors, they have not seen the inked contract to date and even argued that a summary of the changes to the agreement signed between the M&CC and Smart City Solutions Inc. was only given to them today and support for changes was not likely.
They also continued their call for the contract to be scrapped and retendered.
Following a review, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams said the project is not illegal, however, both the Ministries of Legal Affairs and Finance recommended that amendments be made to the concessions provided to the company in the contract.
According to previous reports, once the operation comes on stream, 20% of the proceeds will go to City Hall, while the remaining 80% will go to the investor.
Some of the amendments outlined by the Ministries include a proposed 20% for the first 9 years, 25% for year 9-19 and 30% for 20 years and onward.
The contract also provides for the project to be reviewed every 49 years. To this, it was recommended that the years be amended downwards to every 20 years.
The new proposed price for parking is $50 for 15 minutes.
It was also recommended that consideration be given to persons with disabilities, a reduction of fees including parking fines and storage fees. Storage fees are classified as the monies being used by the company to pay the facility at which a vehicle is stored after it is towed off a public road.
Chase-Green stated during the meeting that she is unaware of how the Ministry of Finance arrived at the recommendations made.
She told councillors that a feasibility study was conducted which shows that the council stands to benefit.
“It is not a one man show and you are not being bullied anything and any contract signed, one year, ten year, 15, or 20 years are is still valid unless a court deems it is not valid or if the contract is terminated and I don’t think that you alone can stand up to think that you can bully anybody around this table because nobody around this table is going to be bullied and as I always say; noise does not win a war” the Mayor said in response to a statement given by a councillor calling for the meter to be scrapped.
Chase-Green said she does not believe that the councillor is sharing the views of his constituency, rather that of himself.