…gives deadline of July 6, 2017, for lease owners to settle outstanding accounts
Cash strapped Mayor & City Council (M&CC) is mulling renting unoccupied, misused and unpaid leased lands to persons who will utilise it for economic related activities.
This suggested move comes following requests from M&CC Town Clerk, Royston King, for persons “who have leased lands and other facilities from the Council to ensure that they settle their accounts for those leases with its City Treasury.”
Moreover it was outlined that those who have not settled their accounts with the council for leases for which they were awarded have up to July 6, 2017, to “pay off all monies owing to the Council on those leases.”
King in a statement posited that “a look at the register of leases revealed that many individuals who are occupying Council’s lands have not paid fees for many years, while others are using those portions for purposes other than the purpose for which they were leased. In other cases, some reserves have been left to the mercies of stray animals and persons, who have veered off the normal side of society.”
Those found still owing monies to the M&CC after the above stated date will, according to the Town Clerk, have their lands repossessed in accordance with the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chapter 28:01 which the statement quotes “if rents or lease fees are owed to the council for any such lands for two months and beyond the Town Clerk must take possession of those lands and any crops or provisions thereon should be sold, the rent or fees or extracted and the surplus returned to the disposed.“
The Council’s decision to propose renting lands instead of leasing has to do the with its long standing issue of generating enough revenue to cover expenditure.
King said with respect to the rental approach being contemplated that “it is the considered view of the Council, that in these modern times, and its obligation to provide vital municipal services on an extremely limited budget that this could help garner much needed revenue to allow it to fulfill its mandate to all local communities.”
As such, “inspectors attached to the City Engineer’s Department in the company of officials from the Town Clerk’s Department have started to visit various areas to verify those individuals occupying council’s reserves and the purpose to which they have put such areas.”