Residents of the border town of Corriverton in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) are calling for better services from the borough.
The concerns were presented to Local Government and Regional Development Minister Nigel Dharamlall when he visited the borough on Friday. The municipality is estimated to have $ 22 million in tax collection annually but only collects $ 12 million.
A concern for the borough is the fact that, of the 2000 taxpayers, only about 600 pay the municipality their required taxes.
That’s according to Town Clerk Narendra Sukhram.
He told the Minister that one private rice company owes the municipality $ 20 million in taxes. In addition, another large entity owes Corriverton borough taxes $ 80 million.
When asked what arrangements are in place to collect taxes from the 1400 non-payers, Sukhram said staff from the Council would first give notice to the defaulter who would be followed by a visit. He said legal letters had been sent to some defaulters.
Meanwhile, at the meeting, Minister Dharamlall was informed that the Council has not been fulfilling its mandate of removing solid waste from the community in a timely manner. According to one resident, the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) carried out a tree pruning project in Corriverton to remove sections of wood that were in contact with live wires.
“GPL cut members and the Town Council is refusing to raise it. I called the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Two weeks after the things that are still on the roadside, ”the resident told Minister Dharamlall.
However, Sukham defended the Council’s position stating that GPL had carried out the project without informing the Council. According to Sukram, he wrote a letter to GPL inviting the utility company for a meeting to discuss removing the tree pruning.
“They haven’t responded to me,” said Sukhram.
However, the Minister for Local Government stated that the borough has a mandate and should use Community Infrastructure Improvement Project (CIIP) employees for road clearance.
Meanwhile, one resident accused the borough of charging high rates because some of its rental services are office-based, citing that the Private Sector offers the same service at much cheaper rates.
Small excavators are rented by the borough of Corriverton at a rate of $ 12,000 an hour and low beds between $ 10,000 and $ 20,000 an hour. A tractor and slasher are rented from the borough of Corriverton for $ 11,000 an hour.
Skip bins are available to rent at a cost of $ 5000. This, however, compares to $ 3000 in New Amsterdam, which is another town in the region.
Meanwhile, addressing the Council, Dharmalall said that things will be done differently under his Ministry so that residents receive the services they deserve.
Following numerous complaints about the reluctance of municipal staff to address issues and calling on residents to return on more than one occasion for straightforward matters, Dharamlall called on Mayor Winston Roberts to read the riot to staff. He said they were there to serve.
The visit to the borough was the second Darmalall since the start of his appointment as Minister for Local Government in August last year. (Andrew Carmichael)

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