first_imgAttempts by the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) to increase the fees for containers which traverse the streets of Georgetown have proven to be unsuccessful, and as such, the fees remain at $5000.Town Clerk Royston KingThis was disclosed by Town Clerk Royston King on Friday, who told media operatives that the agreement was arrived at following a meeting with City Hall officials, the Private Sector Commission (PSC), and the Business and Communities ministries on Wednesday last.“That tripartite meeting between the council, private sector and Government provided a good platform for conversation and action on issues, particularly financial issues affecting the sustainable development of Georgetown”, King stated.During that encounter, the council was hoping for the fees to be increased from $5,000 to $8,000 for every 20ft container, and from $5,000 to $10,000 for every 40ft container.“It was agreed that the council will sustain the current charge to provide an opportunity for all involved to look at the challenges facing the city in a more holistic manner, and to explore other options of revenue generation for Georgetown,” the Town Clerk posited.King explained that with the current system in place, some shippers were collecting the money but were not remitting same to the council. He noted that the monies acquired from the increased fees would have been used specifically towards the construction of new roads and to repair the deplorable ones.“The charge on containers is giving shippers an opportunity to contribute to what we do in the city (maintain roads),” he said.On July 19, 2016, the M&CC had blocked several streets in Georgetown and its environs, demanding that a $25,000 fee be charged for each container to traverse the streets of Georgetown.However, the Council was forced to abandon the demand after the Shipping Association of Guyana (SAG) moved to the High Court, challenging the M&CC’s decision to impose the new fee.The SAG, in court documents filed, emphasised that the Municipal and Municipal District Councils Act, Ch 28:01 and by-laws do not provide for the imposition of such a tax.The PSC had said at that time that it was increasingly concerned at the approach of the M&CC to make such decisions in order to raise revenue, as it negatively impacts the business community and the citizens of Georgetown, especially since there was no public consultation and due process within the law.The PSC went on to say that while the city requires a certain amount of revenue to function effectively, stakeholders should be engaged in a decision making process which would consider the interest of all parties.As such, in August of 2016, the fees were lowered from $25,000 to $5,000.last_img read more