If you live in Orange Walk, specifically in the area of Santa Familia Street, then we are sure that you noticed the infrastructural work that was being carried out in the area. We say was because works have been halted. The paving of the street is being carried out by the Social Investment Fund under the Belize Municipal Development Project. Up to Wednesday of last week, the project was running smoothly, but things changed when residents began expressing discontent on the way the drains were being built. Several calls were made to the Orange Walk Town Council who after investigations found out that the layout of the drains being built, will pose flooding problems in the long run.
Kevin Bernard– Mayor, OWTC
“What is happening right now is the remaining of those works. It started off with the drainage project. I want to make it perfectly clear that the contractor that was given this remaining section is Demar’s Stone Company and we all know who Demar’s Stone Company is but that is not the issue, we don’t have a problem with that, he gave a bid and he won. The problem I have is that we began receiving complaints from residents complaining regarding the way the drains are being built. The drains are being built in the shape of a V. The first phase did not have these types of drains. Speaking to the project coordinator they are saying that they wanted to reduce some cost because of the remaining funds that were left for that project and so they decided to implement the V drain. Putting in the V drain is not a problem but the way they are doing it is the problem and that is one of the concerns residents were calling about. In some instances the V drain were being placed almost eight to ten inches above the people’s property, In one of the locations it was placed almost 12 inches above the people’s property and that will create problem because yes the contractor is saying that yes the idea is to drain off the water off the street but you have to also remember that some water goes into the peoples yard and so that water needs to find it way out of the yards or else we will find ourselves in serious problems in those areas.”
Part of the problem is that the houses are built on low land, which is prone to flooding. As a result, the council has contacted the Social Investment Fund to cease and desist with the construction until a contingency plan can be drafted.
Kevin Bernard– Mayor, OWTC
“So what has to happen it has to find a way to drain the water into the drain so that it would off into the main drain and then takes it back to the creek. What had happen is that I received those complaints and I immediately send an e-mail to Mr. Raymond informing him of such and I requested that those works be put on hold until we can meet as a council as we have invested investment in these projects, the council, the representatives of SIF and the contractor and the reason behind this is that we want to be able to ensure that we are addressing the residence concern and the concern is that those drains need to be replace, it needs to go lower and from what I gather it was built in a way that we may believe it can be rectified and so it can go lower so there is no issue here and I wanted to say this here because of the contractor who is doing this or who owns the company, the issue here is because the residence who have been calling me to complain that they do not want them to either continue with this work on the other side because of the same v-drains will be placed on the other side of the road and we will end up with high drains low lands on both sides and creating a real big problem so we want this thing to be solve so tomorrow Mr. Raymond reply to me on Friday that we will be meeting tomorrow morning early to go out there on the field and discuss this issue and am hoping that some residence will be around for them to also provide their feedback.”
The contract was awarded to De’Mars Stone Company, owned by UDP stalwart Denny Grijalva, at a tune of $300 thousand dollars. Members of the BNDP, SIF, Town Council and Central Government will meet tomorrow to discuss remedial plans for the area.
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