No bailout for City Hall – Bulkan

first_imgGovernment has nixed the idea of providing a 0 million bailout as requested by the Georgetown Mayor and City Council.This was disclosed by Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan in Berbice on Friday during a meeting that he held with Mayors and Councillors of the three municipalities – Rose Hall, Corriverton and New Amsterdam.Bulkan is quoted by the Government Information Agency (GINA) as saying that the Government was not in favour of the bailout.“This 0 million bailout that we all have read about in the newspapers, where that particular council is looking for that support, what I can say…and from my own understanding and the limited current engagement that I have had with colleagues in the Administration, is that, I do not think that there is any appetite on the part of the Central Government to be favourably disposed towards that request,” Bulkan asserted.Communities MinisterRonald BulkanHe, however, opined that the alternative of seeking commercial sources of financing would be suggested to the municipality.“The response of Central Government may very well be along the lines of telling the Municipality to think like a corporation, so I believe the Georgetown Council would be encouraged that there are commercial sources that they can approach,” Bulkan pointed out.It was during a statutory meeting held on November 14, 2016, at City Hall, that the Mayor and City Council indicated that the Council would have approached Central Government through the Communities Minister for a $600 million “bailout” to assist in the payment of outstanding debt and salaries.However, during the meeting in Berbice on Friday, the Councillors voiced concerns, emphasising that Georgetown seemed to be the only Council that enjoyed the support of Central Government.New Amsterdam Mayor Kurt Wynter was quoted as saying that City Hall would have received from Central Government $300 million, just after the General and Regional Election of May 2015, and would soon be asking for $600 million more. Wynter noted that his municipality has not heard word from Government on a $137 million proposal it had submitted to assist in the restoration and drainage infrastructure of New Amsterdam.Bulkan told the Region Six Councillors that the municipalities were now being advised to start functioning like corporations that generate the wealth needed to meet their operational cost.“I think that business consideration that our councils are being urged to bring, that business mindset, beginning in Georgetown would do a lot to drive efficiency and improvement within the management of councils,” Bulkan opined.“I do not want you to feel that Central Government is just going to push their hands in the kitty and keep bailing out Georgetown, and you are going to be left on your own, we are going to try to be consistent with the message and not discriminate,” he stressed.The disapproval of the $600 million proposed bailout comes nearly one month after reports surfaced that Bulkan’s Ministry was conducting an audit into spending operations at City Hall. In late October, however, the Ministry had insisted that it was only conducting the audit into City Hall’s spending of two subventions it received from Government. It was after discrepancies were highlighted in the Auditor General’s 2015 Report, that the Ministry had launched a review of the M&CC’s spending of its $300 million Government subvention and reports surfaced that City Mayor Patricia Chase Green was upset by the review.last_img read more

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