Saturday, July 22, 2017

Fix Helen Middleton Street

Sunday, July 16, 2017, 18:54
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By Gilroy Usher, Sr.   Helen Middleton Street (HMS) is the last street to the west of Central American Blvd. in Belize City. This street is home to many residents including well-known Pastor Melvin Davis. It’s also home to a number of small businesses such as August Auto-electrical shop and Pastor Davis’ transport service. Helen Middleton Street is also used daily by scores of pedestrians or persons on bicycles or in vehicles, who need to reach work or conduct business at the Customs Department or Port of Belize. The street is also used to take numerous containers and heavy equipment to and from the port. Residents and small businesses on this street pay thousands of dollars in taxes to the Belize City Council every year. Additionally, use of this street greatly enhances Central Government’s collection of millions of dollars in revenue from the Customs Department and Port of Belize every month. Despite such importance Helen Middleton Street is one of the many abandoned streets on Southside Belize City. This street is in a really deplorable state. It has at least four very large dirty   waterholes. With absolutely no drain on either side, the least rain causes it to become a lagoon which floods the auto-electrical shop and several homes and yards for days. The Belize City Council is responsible for the proper maintenance of the streets of this municipality including those on southside. How can Mayor Bradley and his councillors force people to use such a deplorable street? Would the Mayor and his councillors feel happy if they had to bail water out of their homes or businesses with the least rain? Children and adults often have to walk bare-feet or with rubber boots to avoid soiling their regular footwear in the filthy water on Helen Middleton Street. The situation is that bad. Due to its terrible condition HMS is also a wrecker for vehicles, but people can’t do better.  They have to move around in the area. Out of all the taxes the Belize City Council collects, its huge monthly subvention from government, the $20 million bond that all city residents have to pay back and $10 million from PetroCaribe for streets for the last six years Mayor Bradley and his councillors have not used even a dollar of all that money to fill the huge water holes on Helen Middleton Street or build a drain to channel the water out of the area. The council is responsible for the constant flooding on Helen Middleton Street; nevertheless, it hounds the residents and businesses of the area to collect all the taxes owed to the Council in full. People on the street can’t owe the council a penny for trade license, property tax or any kind of fee. They either pay up in full or the council chops off its service. City residents also need to remember that despite the terrible neglect of Helen Middleton Street and most of the other streets on Southside Belize City, the current Mayor and his councilors who all have other jobs have raised their salaries so much that they are among the highest paid persons in the city. No money to fix streets on Southside – nobody’s buying that. These people, who were once humble ordinary persons before they got to City Hall six years ago, now live large. They now have fancy rides with heavily tinted glass to prevent people from seeing them; stylish mansions on paved streets, private schools for children, and holidays abroad among other things like the rich and famous. About two months before the City Council election in March next year, the Council will suddenly remember Helen Middleton Street. They will then throw some stones in the huge water holes in the area, make a little drain and tell the people they care about the Southside. The people should not fall for that empty talk. They should use their Xs to vote the entire set out of office for only remembering the needs of Southside residents at election time.
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