COVID-19: City Hall may not be able to pay workers next month, loses 69% in revenues

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The Mayor and City Council of Georgetown may not be able to pay its employees in June and has suffered 69 per cent in loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 measures implemented by the Government since April.

At a press conference held at City Hall Wednesday, Mayor Ubraj Narine told reporters that the Council is seeking the intervention of the Ministry of Communities to offset City Hall’s expenses in an effort to be able to pay employees.

“I don’t know how I will pay staff for next month, I am seeking Government help. I did all they ask me to do, however, I do look forward to hear from the Ministry of Communities and the National Task Force so that we can do it together,” the Mayor said.

Mayor Narine said the Council has since written the Ministry in this regard and is awaiting a response.

He reminded that the Government only assisted City Hall with $500,000 when the markets were closed for five days in March.

According to the Mayor, the City Council continues to battle COVID-19 with very limited resources.

Revenue Loss

Meanwhile, on April 6, City Hall announced that vendors who sell essential items at City markets will be allowed to ply their trade from 07:00hrs to noon daily under certain sanitary and social distancing guidelines.

This has since resulted in decreased revenue for City Hall.

“I want to say that our revenue bases decline closely to 69% comparing to 2019 so you can imagine what we are facing at the Mayor and City Council at this present time.

“Every month COVID-19 measures continue we will continue to have a revenue decline,” the Mayor said.

Mayor Narine said City Hall’s COVID-19 Task Force recently approached the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) for assistance and it was agreed that the health organization will provide support in the sum of US$38, 412 but the assistance will not be done in cash.

The Mayor explained that the Council now has to send quotations to PAHO/WHO detailing the assistance needed and it will be procured.

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