New lease emerges: PNC rents land for $20K per year for commercial purposes from city council
The People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) has leased a prime piece of land for 99 years at Plantation Rome (Agricola), East Bank Demerara (EBD) from the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) at a cost of only $20,000 annually for commercial purposes.
The plot of land, which measures approximately 3877 square feet, is situated at Middle Walk Dam.
The lease agreement, seen by the News Room, took effect on January 28, 2021.
The document was signed and stamped by Town Clerk (ag), Julian Orgista and Chairman of the PNC/R, Elizabeth Williams-Niles.
The lease is valid for 99 years, expiring on December 31, 2119 after which it can be renewed with notice being given three months before the expiration date.
“If neither party sends written notice of termination to the other party as prescribed by this clause, then the lease will be automatically continued until such time that notice of three calendar months is given by either party,” the lease states.
If terminated due to breaches, all buildings on or improvements to the land would automatically become the property of the PNC/R.
“On the expiry of this lease by effluxion of time or upon the surrender or cancellation thereof, all buildings or erections and all improvements on the land hereby leased shall belong absolutely to the lessor,” according to the terms and conditions of the lease.
The lease further states that the land is to be used for only commercial purposes.
“To use the land for lawful operations, and to not take upon the land no thing or person to perform an act that is unlawful or therefrom will bear any liability to the Council”
Additionally, it said any improvements made to the land will be deducted from any purchase agreement between M&CC and the lessee for the land.
“All property may be sold at a current market related price and shall be determined by a majority vote by the council and subject for final approval by the Minister of Communities.”
For the first five years, the PNC/R is required to pay $20,000 for the land.
The annual rental is subject to review every ten years by the M&CC.
This new lease has emerged when it was revealed that the PNC/R has been occupying State lands at Lethem, Region Nine, without showing ownership.
The building that housed its regional office to conduct party business was recently partly dismantled by the authorities after the political party disregarded three notices to relocate.
With almost no commercial value to the State, this new lease shows a pattern by the former government of accessing State lands for very little costs. The government is now looking to construct a health facility on the piece of land in Lethem which will see wider benefit to the community.
The government also promised to approve land for the PNC/R to build an office in Lethem.