Earlier this month, Raymond Jones’ ‘Drums, not guns’ craft shop at the bridge foot relocated. They say they did so under orders of the Belize City Council. The Belize City Council gave the orders for all vendors near the commercial center to relocate. Today, outgoing Mayor Darrell Bradley told us why.
DARRELL BRADLEY, MAYOR OF BELIZE CITY
“The building will be and has been actually turned over to the contractor so that building is actually a worksite so the building actually has to be completely empty. Empty of City Council Staff and empty of all vendors. One of the reasons why that’s the case is that there will be an entire gutting of the interior and if you go into the building you will know that there is a whole in the three floors, that will actually be closed up and we are going to put more office and commercial space. So the building has to be cleared. At the time when we took those steps you had two vendors who occupy spaces outside of the building and you had one lady, who I won’t mention her name, who sold vegetables in the front area of the building and they asked us because the works have begun in the interior first and then the outside of the building will be towards the end of the project. They had asked us if they can stay at those locations closer to the time when we were ready to immediately commence works because they had difficulty moving and that kind of stuff. We gave them that kind level of reprieve with the understanding that when we needed the building for construction to begin they would vacate. We worked with the person who sells vegetables and that person now is at the Michael Finnegan Market and so we would have dealt with that individual. There is another individual who we’ve worked with, that person being able to sell at another location on Albert Street and I believe the Drums not Guns person at some point along the communication had agreed to go into Memorial Park, but don’t quote me on that but one of the things we had committed with all the vendors and with them in particular that we would help as much as possible to provide you with temporary accommodations especially like Memorial Park, that is a place that is under the control and ownership of the City Council so if you want a booth there we’ll give you that and the issue is something that we won’t resolve in as amicable means as possible but the overall concern is that we need the building for the renovation.”
The Jones wrote the Mayor and they say they expect a response from him in writing.