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Mayor Wagner Says CITCO has been Creative with Generating Revenue

Bernard Wagner: he’s been the mayor of Belize City since defeating the United Democratic Party in the March 2021 municipal elections. Mayor Wagner, this morning, appeared on Love TV’s “The Morning Show” where he discussed several topics and issues relating to the council’s successes and challenges. Like many other municipal bodies, the Belize City Council has been creating new ways to not only generate revenues but meet bills. Mayor Wagner spoked about the council’s ability in keeping up with its debts and it’s creativity to general revenue to keep the city going.

Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “We already have the parking meters in the country. We’ll be doing a pilot project in the BTL park area very shortly to work out the kinks and all the little glitches that may occur but it will be an electronic type system cashless type activity. We want to see how it will work along that stretch because what has been happening in the BTL area that we have vendors in the park but they do not have the ability for someone to access their business because all the call centers on that area the employee comes in the morning and parks for the entire day. Similarly on Albert Street. I used to work at the bank so I would always leave early to get a parking spot on Albert Street but once we have this system in place that will change. In my view I see too many taxi stands and these are prime real estate for the city. You can’t have someone parked on prime real estate for the city for eight hours and do not pay anything, that has to change. The amount of taxi stands we have in the city has to change. We’ll have to have discussions with those taxi operators and see what’s best for the city, it has to be what’s best for the city not for individuals, not for associations but what is best for the city. Continue to meet with investors. Prior to COVID we were able to launch that bond and we were able to get bondholders in the neighborhood of $7-8 million purchasing those bonds. We have been paying our interest on those bonds so they have been performing and all our investors have never been, we have never missed a bond payment. We do have the prior bond the 2021 bond which really accounted for all the concrete streets in the City we have also been able to pay down. That was for $20 million, we have been able to pay down $9 million on that bond as well so the bonds that are due for maturity in 2023 and 2024 is in the neighborhood of $11 million and those were tied to the head tax and the subvention.”

Troy Gabb, Host, The Morning Show: So how’s that coping right now like how that was eliminated for a time and just tricking down at this point in time.

Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “Yeah well obviously the ability to meet those bond payments come 2023 and 2024 will require some level of renegotiation with those bond holders.” 

Troy Gabb, Host, The Morning Show: Possibly a rollover.

Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “A roll over down the road.”