The City Council has earmarked its percentage of monies made from the Parking Meter Project for the rehabilitation of sections of Charlotte Street.
Recently, City Treasurer, Ron McCalmon told media operatives that the Council collected some $680, 000. Under the agreement with Smart City Solutions (SCS), City Hall gets 20% of the profit made, while the Company keeps 80% to cover its expenses.
According to Town Clerk, Royston King, the Council had promised to use those monies for the upgrading of existing roads, constructing new ones, constructing new bridges and doing maintenance of the ones we have in local communities.” Speaking to the News Room on Wednesday (April 05, 2017), he added that the council is also moving ahead with plans for a city transport, also scheduled to be completed with monies from the Parking Meter Project, as the currently suspended project is “almost indispensable.”
The Town Clerk noted that a meeting was hosted earlier this week between Smart City Solutions (SCS), himself, Chairman of the Council’s Finance Committee, Oscar Clarke and Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green, to discuss the way forward with the project.
“We ask them (SCS) the new dynamics, cultural and other dynamics of our local communities and that they should give us a chance to look at the contract, to review it, to renegotiate and to work with terms that are more acceptable to local communities. The initiative is going to bring a cultural shift and therefore we need to take time to become acclimatised to it and this is exactly what we’re doing,” King said. He added that an extraordinary meeting of the Councillors will be called next week to further discuss the controversial project.
Since its inception, the Project has seen much opposition from businesses and citizens who travel to and from the city on a daily basis. However, the Council refused to budge in its position.
Following a deliberation by Cabinet on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan was directed to formally suspend the operation of the By-laws governing the Parking Meter project. This put the project on pause for three months; a period which the Government said should be used for consultations with stakeholders.
According to King, after next week’s meeting at the level of the Council, consultations will begin with stakeholders. “From next week, perhaps Wednesday (April 12, 2017), Thursday (April 13, 2017), we’ll begin those consultations with councillors first, and then we’ll move on to the wider communities,” he noted.