Parking at Merriman Mall

Dear Editor
The decision to allocate space on the Merriman Mall for the Sleepin Hotel and Casino’s customers to park should be seen as a practical and progressive move by the Mayor and City Council. It addresses issues of severe congestion that many residents of the area have complained about.
The fact is that this hotel and casino was approved in a time when issues to do with parking and proper town planning were not being properly discussed.
It is hoped that similar projects would now be required to follow basic regulations used in many other cities worldwide before being approved. There is going to be tremendous development in and around the city on the back of the oil sector’s activities, and if it is the case that developers cannot meet such requirements, then they need to look elsewhere.
Georgetown should ideally become like downtown Paramaribo or Old Panama City, with an emphasis on preserving its green spaces and historic buildings. But the present reality is – whether you like it or not – this hotel and casino is there, and so finding a solution was the correct way forward.
The initiative would also see much needed revenue accruing for the City administration, which continues to struggle with the issue of businesses refusing to pay their rates.
I hope the President and the Private Sector can talk out on this subject. If not, the names of chronic defaulters should be published.
Furthermore, this move by the Mayor and City Council is another indication that it wishes to move beyond the stagnation of years past; and, wherever possible, to work along with the central Government and businesses to make Georgetown a more comfortable place to live.
The joint work on a bridge at Hogg and Sussex Streets, Albouystown, and the recent meeting between the Mayor and the President, which saw a commitment of $100 million in taxes from central Government, can only be seen as positive steps.
Political differences remain but, in the end, residents of Georgetown must come first, and their welfare is the prime responsibility of the Mayor and City Council.

Yours sincerely,
Lynn Nicholas