Jennifer Smith Street in Belize City is now once again accessible to residents
Jennifer Smith Street in Belize City is now once again accessible to residents of the area after the man who owns a portion of the street met with the government. In February this year, Edwin Beaton blocked off the street’s entrance to get the government’s attention. Beaton had initially been told by the past government that he would have been paid for the portion of his land that the street was built on, but he never received any compensation. Minister of Natural Resources, Cordel Hyde, explained today that he has met with Beaton and has come to an agreement that will benefit him and the residents of the area.
Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources, Petroleum and Mining: “In that particular area was primarily London bridges and I think like 25 years ago we actually acquired those lands from private landowners, not that particular piece of land but land nearby it must have been 20 plus acres and they got it surveyed and put in streets ensured that we regularize the situation with people there. Those people were able to get their land papers but it seems that- in fact it doesn’t seem that what happened is that the authorities at the time whoever was pushing the street pushed a street right through a portion of his land and that’s the case for 25 years. He’s tried numerous times to try to get people’s attention but it hasn’t always been in a very peaceful kind of way, in a very amicable kind of way so it reached a flashpoint the other day when he decided to block out the area that’s when I discovered it to be honest with you that this is actually a private property where the street goes. I don’t remember the exact size but it’s probably 10 to 15 feet of his property. He blocked it off, I met with him, asked him if he could remove the piles that he had on the road and see if we can work it out because I assured him that government cannot seize your property without adequately compensating you. Yes it’s for public purpose but the government has to compensate you. I asked him to make a formal request to us in terms of what he would want for that for the land, for the piece of land that government has delineated. He did send us a letter saying for us to make him an offer. We have just recently gotten a valuation on it, we have not formally made a proposal to him we’ll hopefully do that in the very near future and see if he’s amicable to that, if he’s open to that. If he’s not then we’ll have to respect that because ultimately it’s his private property.”
Jennifer Smith Street is located just off LaCroix Boulevard in the Lake Independence area