By Alexis R. Milan
The Belize City Council has paid off the first tranche of its municipal (Streets) bond and is projecting that it will be able to meet its target payments comfortably in the years ahead, Mayor Darrell Bradley said Tuesday.
The council made the first payment on the bond on December 24th. He said that payments, which include principal and interest totalled $1.5 million.
The amount represents about 7.5 percent of the bond, and the sinking fund being managed by the Central Bank has a comfortable surplus, the mayor said.
Bradley indicated that the next payment is due in three years when 50 percent of the bond has to be repaid. The Council projects that at that point the municipality will be able to comfortably make the payment of interest and principal.
He added that city residents shouldn’t have any fears about the financial position of the city when it comes to the bond. The bond has been hugely successful he said, and the municipality will continue to responsibly maintain and honor its obligations for the paying off the bond.
Bradley revealed that government subventions and money the city collects from the Head Tax go straight into the Central Bank to capitalize the sinking fund. He added that the council’s audits as well as the independent audits from PKF Accountants and Business Advisers indicate that the city is on track in making all payments on the bond comfortably.