Central Govt hopes M&CC renegotiates better contract – Bulkan

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Parking meter burden

Following Central Government’s move to have the highly controversial parking meter project suspended for three months, it is anticipated that the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) would use this period to renegotiate the fees with Smart City Solutions.

Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan

Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan, who told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that Central Government is not opposed to paid parking, but hopes that consultations will be held between the City Council and stakeholders to establish a common ground using the recommendations made by the ministries of Legal Affairs and Finance, said: “It is expected that the municipality and the councils will more meaningfully take into account the recommendations that were made; in essence, some of the major concerns, as made by the Central Government and the public, that relate to the duration of the contract, especially the disproportionate nature of the benefit that will accrue under this contract,” the minister said.
Persons had initially been charged $232 per hour of parking in the designated areas. However in February, the city announced 50 per cent reduced rates to about $100 per hour, but the general populace holds out that the fees are too burdensome.
Nevertheless, Bulkan noted that he supports the idea of parking meters within the capital city, since they would regulate the traffic as well as parking.
The minister noted that the City Council’s efforts should also be directed to other violations of the city’s by-laws, including building violations, noise pollution, and other breaches of the municipal and local governance.
Cabinet, earlier this month, suspended the parking meter project for a period of 90 days due to the exorbitant fees and lack of transparency surrounding the contract between Smart City Solutions and the Council; but members of the public are requesting the revocation of the project.
During a post-cabinet media briefing, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, had said there were other concerns raised by Cabinet pertaining to the cost of parking in the jurisdiction of Georgetown, the provision for the parking of police, army and Fire Service vehicles and ambulances, the financial arrangement of the project, and the need for greater involvement of stakeholders in the process.