Several members and supporters of the Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) converged on Thursday in front of City Hall to protest against the re-introduction of marking peters.
They told media operatives gathered that they are willing to end this action, as long as the Court rules in their favour.
One of MAPM’s supporters said that, “the legality of the contract is in the Court and instead of the City Council waiting to see the results of that Court case, they are trying to go ahead and force us to accept the parking meters…if the Court deems the Parking Meter is legal that’s the end of our protest”.
Explaining why she believes the Parking Meter Project is illegal was Renatta Chuck-A-Sang. “The thing never went to tender (National Procurement and Tender Administration Board) even though the value of it is in excess of the required sealing. We contend that the contract is illegal and therefore it should not be enforced…they have to go back to the drawing board, go through the process, do the feasibility study, you do the tender process and we start afresh and that wasn’t done,” she noted.
A prominent businessman in Georgetown said, “The last time this (parking meter project) was enforced, business dropped like about 60 per cent, because people just didn’t want to pay for the parking and the entire street was empty”. Being the manager of the Outdoor Store, the businessman said he tried to let his customers park on his bridge, but this effort was unable to float his business.
The M&CC had entered into a contract with Smart City Solutions Inc (SCSI) on May 13, 2016, for parking meters to be implemented in Georgetown. The renegotiated contract with SCSI and the restructured fees come in light of a recent High Court ruling quashing the by-laws of the controversial project. The city, through its lawyers, filed an appeal to the ruling.
Should the project be re-introduced, drivers will be made to to pay $150 per hour and $800 for eight hours of parking in the city, while residents of the city would be issued with a restricted residential pass for free parking from 17:00h-19:00h Monday to Friday with free parking on Saturdays.