-While M&CC says that it will clear its over $300M debt at the end of 2017
The move by the Mayor & City Council (M&CC) to terminate the services of solid waste contracting companies Cevons Waste Management and Puran Brothers, in light of the said companies pulling their services pending payments dating back to 2015 of over $300M, is not sitting well with the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI).
According to the GCCI, it views the M&CC’s recent publication via a notice in the media that the contractor’s withdrawal of their services would be deemed as a termination of the contract as “unwarranted, and the council not acting in good faith by taking this step.”
Moreover, the Chamber posited that ” non-payment or untimely payments to these contractors for acceptable services rendered to the M&CC is a fundamental breach of contract, yet these contractors have continued to work with the M&CC over the past few years in hopes that the issue could have been resolved amicably.”
As such, the GCCI is urging the M&CC to meet with two companies and come to mutually agreeable solution. The Chamber is also “calling on the Government of Guyana to intervene in this matter so as to ensure that waste collection services in the city return to normality and good faith prevails among M&CC and contractors in this matter.”
The Georgetown Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green, on Tuesday had said that contracts with the two companies were not terminated based on her knowledge. Referring to the notice that was published she said ” I’m not certain that the contract with the two existing persons have been scrapped. The letter was so kind to say ‘look you are more or less in a breach of our contract with us’. But we have not scrapped it. We’re still in negotiations with those two contractors to find a consensus to how we’re going to pay the $300M.”
To this end, the M&CC in a release on Wednesday said that while it was unable to honour its obligations to its partners for a number of outlined reasons, it “will move swiftly to liquidate its debts with its two main contractors, Cevons Waste Management and Puran Brothers; all monies owed to our partners will be paid before the end of this year, 2017.”
The reasons listed by the Council for not being able to service its debts were; “the fact that the city has not had valuation of properties for over 20 years, certain businesses are neglecting to pay even meager amounts of property rates to the city. The cumbersomeness of the judicial process to recover outstanding amounts by the sale of defaulting properties, changes in the demography of the city, unprecedented environmental conditions and events triggered by global warming and climate change, increasing demands for vital municipal services, the inability of the Council to effect new revenue earning ventures, and increases in the cost of goods and commodities used by the Council to provide services to local communities.”
Moreover, the M&CC outlined that the withdrawal of the companies collection services has provided the impetus for them to re-organize their affairs.
As a result, the Council says it will now do the following:
- “It will move swiftly to liquidate its debts with its two main contractors, Cevons Waste Management and Puran Brothers; all monies owed to our partners will be paid before the end of this year, 2017.
- Council will retool, re-fleet and re-equip the Solid Waste Management Department to haul and dispose of at least 60% of the city’s waste by the end of December 2017. Technical teams and mechanics will be retrained to service and maintain trucks with new technologies, in this area of our responsibility.
- The Council will pursue an aggressive public awareness programme in schools, religious organizations, non-governmental organizations and local communities to encourage residents to take responsibility for the physical state of their neighbourhoods and protect the environment in which they live. This programme will begin in another two weeks, in all local communities and will engage our friends in the private sector and other volunteer groups.
- The Constabulary will re-establish a special anti-litter squad armed with cameras to give special attention to litter bugs, who are bent on littering and disrupting the aesthetics of the city and hurting the natural environment.
- The Council will go forward with its plan to introduce a ticketing system for litter bugs. This will allow those, who litter the city to pay a fine directly to the Council. This will give the Council two benefits, 1. Provide much needed money to enforce litter and related by laws. 2. It will serve as a deterrent to those, who intend to hurt the city.
- The city will introduce fees on commercial and industrial waste beginning form the 1st September, 2017. They were consultations with businesses and other stakeholders and it was agreed that commercial and industrial waste should attract special fees.”