In spite of mounting concerns being expressed by various stakeholders, Georgetown Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green, today said that the city will proceed with the parking meters project which is expected to come on stream from September 1.
At a press conference held this morning at City Hall; Chase-Green, Town Clerk Royston King, and Councillors Mr. Oscar Clarke and Mr. Junior Garret among other officers of the City, sought to address some of the burning issues surrounding the project and to provide an update on their recent visit to Mexico and Panama.
In justifying the implementation of the project, Chase-Green said that the initiative will add many benefits to the city; these include; easing traffic congestion and pollution to the environment, creating one hundred new jobs for citizens in its initial phase, providing the city with much needed revenue and boosting investors’ confidence among others.
She also noted that the Council is not required to invest any monies into the project.
Councillor Mr. Oscar Clarke added that the issue was raised with Communities Minister, Ronald Bulkan, who indicated his support for the initiative and promised to share same with the Cabinet.
Meanwhile, in responding to claims that citizens would have to pay $500 per hour for parking, Chase-Green said this is certainly not the case. “Really we are in negotiations with that…and it will be much less than that,” Chase-Green explained.
She further noted that for employees parking outside of their workplace, there will be ‘special concessions’.
Over the past few days, there were several concerns expressed by commentators, transparency advocates, the parliamentary opposition and the deputy mayor himself, Sherod Duncan, concerning the project. Concerns include; the total lack of transparency surrounding the project, the legitimacy of the company contracted, the price proposed to be charged, the fact that no prior public consultations were held with stakeholders, and the overall secrecy and constant inconsistencies that surround the undertaking.