The Orange Walk Town Council is currently undertaking two major project proposals that if implemented will turn out to be a major recreational spot for families and could see an increase in local economic activity with the riverside development and the expansion of the Market. Mayor Kevin Bernard says that while they are in the written stages of the proposal, he is hoping to get the ‘go ahead’ or approval from the property owners in the area.
Kevin Bernard– Mayor, OWTC
“I have written to both Mr Burgos who is a part owner of that property and I have communicated through a family member to Mrs Teresita Gonzalez of the interest that we have and I have forward it the actual design that we have, that we want to carry out at those areas and as you know the council has a little house use to house the tourist centre there and so the idea is that we want to enhance the River side, this area is right behind the La Inmaculada school as you know if you pass there on weekends people go out there and do their little fishing and so the plan that we have is to enhance that whole area where it will be a family area to come out and relax and we want to create little economic activity but the plans that we are doing has to have some or create some local economic activity so we are putting three little Kios for somebody to have a little ice cream stall, another person can have something that they can sell or to create economic activity as well but same time beautifying our fiver edge and a the same time being able to have a good lace with the family and have a good time.”
If approved, the project will be carried out next year. The second proposal is for the expansion and development of the Fort Cairns Market, located in the center of Town. While the council had gotten positive reaction from the funding agency, the European Union, Mayor Bernard alleges that political interference is the cause for the green light for approval of the project to be halted.
Kevin Bernard– Mayor, OWTC
“We wanted to enhance the market area and when I met with the consultant and the representative from the EU I mentioned to them that I have very much interest in putting together an expansion project for the market and he had mentioned to me that we should go ahead and proceed in putting together the proposal and we have done all of that but about three weeks ago the national authorizing officer from the EU was to have come to my office to meet so we could discussed the final details of that plan because from what I have understood that the EU itself had already agreed to our proposal and it is also part of the long term Belize Municipal Development Plan that we have drafted, the market expansion is part of that plan so these are things that we are trying to look on but I was told and I was made to understand that there has been some political interference that the minister and I want to say it is alleged that the Deputy Prime Minister has somewhat interfere in the process because I understand that he is alleged wants to put some expansion of the market in Trial Farm and not the centre part of the town but I have one message for them that at the end of the day this council will continue to put forward his proposal, we would seek where we would need funding from, the EU is one option but there are other funding agencies out there that we want to tap into and if we can get the funding to do that and even if do not get the funding I believe that under a PUP government we will definitely be able to expand the fort carn market extension plaza and thereafter we will bring development to our municipality.”
To date, the European Union has approved funding for Market Expansion in Independence and Belmopan.
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