The Public Service Union (PSU) is making its application to go to court over the Hilltop property in Belmopan. The announcement came via a release to our newsroom this evening from the union. According to the union, they have sought legal advice and based on that advice they are preparing to file their claim in court via the law firm, Courtney Coye and Associates. The property currently houses their headquarters and has been home to the union for about twenty years. Despite their history on the hilltop land, the Belmopan City Council sold the property to Simplex Design Company Limited; a transaction the union did not find out about until November 12, 2018. Since then there have been meetings with the council and the Prime Minister, but no concrete or satisfactory outcome was had for the union. As recent as last week, Simplex Design Company Limited issued an eviction notice to the union, giving them up until the end of the month to vacate the property. The PSU, in response, has decided to take the matter to court. Dean Flowers is the First Vice President and the Public Relations Officer for the union.
Dean Flowers, First Vice President, PSU: “I’m not at liberty to state the specifics of the case that will be lodged in the courts however I must state clearly based on what you just summarized that we’re not going to court to challenge the eviction notice, we’re going to court to challenge the sale of the property which we are now convinced was wrong and that we have a solid case to defend our position for ownership of the property. We have no intention of vacating the premises. We are in receipt of the eviction notice. If we’re advised by counsel or we are instructed a court to do so we will do so but for now we treat it for what it is which is simply a notice to evict. We are firm in our position where our rights to that property is concerned and that is where we’re going. So we intend to have a case filed in Supreme Court before the end of this week and the court will decide the future of that property as well as the future of our rights to that property. It took us some time to reach this point, all the while we never gave up our fight. Of course there were some days where we thought it wouldn’t get to where we currently are but fortunately for us we are now comfortable, we now believe we have a firm position and we believe that we’ll have our day in court and we’ll see what will be the outcome of that.”
The Hilltop property was sold for four hundred thousand dollars. One of the point of contention for the union is that Simplex Design Company Limited was registered on October 9, 2018 and by the following day, the title was given to them. According to the Belmopan City Council, the PSU was not living up to their lease agreement for years. The PSU rejected the statement, saying they have paid an estimated fifty thousand dollars up to 2009. The Belmopan City Council, however, has no records of those payments. We will bring you more details as the situation unfolds.