After months of impasse, Cevons Waste Management and Puran Brothers Disposal will soon be paid a sum in excess of $300 million that is owed to them by the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) for garbage collection services provided across the capital city.
Minister of State Joseph Harmon told media operatives on Thursday that Cabinet recently approved a proposal made by the Communities Ministry for the outstanding payments to be made to the two companies.
In fact, he noted that the Finance Minister is currently engaging the two companies to determine how the payments would be made.
“I am aware that the Minister of Finance is now engaged with these parties to at least make a payment in whole or in parts very shortly,” the State Minister told media operatives.
The disposal service providers pulled their services from Georgetown back in August over the M&CC’s failure to pay them more than $300 million owed since 2015.
M&CC were unsuccessful in procuring an initial bailout of about $300 million from Central Government to pay the two contractors and later terminated their services in favour of smaller contractors to perform the garbage collection services, in addition to deploying their own garbage trucks to assist in clearing the commercial district.
Following months of impasse, with the M&CC failing to work out a strategy to settle their debts, another bailout of some $475,635,245 was requested from Central Government through the Ministry of Communities, to pay the two garbage collectors as well as another company, Dartmouth Skips Rental.
Georgetown Mayor Patricia Chase-Green had only Tuesday last said during a special meeting at City Hall that she is prepared to beg and bargain for the two companies to recommence their garbage collection services in the city.
Moreover, the Mayor rejected assurances from Solid Waste Director Walter Narine and Town Clerk Royston King that the garbage situation was under control.
The Solid Waste Director had attempted to assure the Council that his department was handling the garbage situation, while the Town Clerk had cautioned against turning to Central Government for bailouts or financial contributions on a regular basis, saying it would dilute the Council’s authority.
However, the Mayor had said she was being told one thing and is seeing another. She noted that the situation is not under control, since there is garbage piling up in the city.
“…well, I going and beg for a bailout, because these small contractors ain’t got the capacity…they don’t have the right trucks. Look at those open back trucks they are using; the city shouldn’t be allowing that,” Chase-Green had asserted.
Meanwhile, the Municipality will be seeking to broker new deals with the companies for garbage collection in the city going forward. The new arrangement is expected to cost City Hall four times less than the previous contract.
Solid Waste Director, Narine, told reporters on Tuesday that once the payment is made to the contractors by Central Government, the companies would recommence collection.
Narine said the new arrangement would see each contractor being paid $10million per month for their services.