Kitty Market rehabilitation stalled; Council working to settle debts
City Hall will soon be reallocating its resources to the Kitty Market as the Council hopes to have construction completed by the end of 2017. However, the Council is now trying to pay off debts owed to businesses for materials supplied thus far.
For years the market structure slowly deteriorated and in 2016 City Hall reported that in order to have the entire facility up and ready, it will cost the Council an estimated $240M. The rehabilitation was scheduled to be completed at the beginning of November 2016, however, the Council has encountered some financial difficulties.
The new Georgetown Deputy Mayor, Lionel Jaikaran at his swearing-in ceremony on Monday, April 10, 2017, noted that “as you all know we do have a cash flow problem so, as the cash comes we’re doing the work. I want to think that we will be finish with the Kitty Market by the end of the year at the very least.”
According to the Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green the Kitty Market project was placed on hold in order to allow the resources to be redirected to completing Albouystown Health Centre. She said work at the Centre would be completed by month-end after which the resources will be redirected to the Kitty Market and other projects being undertaken by the Council.
News Room was made to understand that the Kitty Market project was divided into two phases, one being rehabilitation works which is some 80 percent completed, while the other is the expansion of the Market that has not started.
A senior official at City Hall told this Newscast that the reason behind the delay is not one of a material or labour issue but more of a cash flow problem. He noted that the Credit arrangement with businesses have been exhausted and the Council is trying to accumulate funds to pay off the debt.
The Finance Committee at City Hall is in the process to assess how much money was spent on the project thus far and how much more would be needed to complete the work at the Market.
New features at the Kitty Market would include a health centre, offices for payment of rates and taxes and a space for community councillors.
Stallholders have also expressed concerns about the layout of the market and the lack of ventilation for those who will be selling inside.