By Alexis R. Milan
Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) and the Belize City Council (CitCo) have begun discussions about the transition of 170 employees when BML’s contract ends in January, even while CitCo has been making good on its financial commitments to pay off arrears. .
According to BML owner Lawrence Ellis, there have been preliminary discussions between his company and CitCo on ways to ease the burden on the Council since Mayor Darrell Bradley has indicated on numerous occasions that adding 170 BML workers to the City’s payroll is not a sustainable option.
Ellis said there has been discussions of his company retaining about 70 employees and being given a much reduced contract to ease the financial strain that CitCo would face by taking on the full complement of 170 workers.
Ellis said that CitCo has requested salary information for the workers but he emphasized that there was no solid decision at this point.
.Last week Bradley said that he had not yet made a decision about the BML employees. He conceded that it was a major issue and it would be difficult to please all parties involved.
Bradley has maintained that taking on 170, which would be a 30 percent increase in CitCo’s staff would pose numerous problems for the Council , which is already facing financial problems.
Ellis also confirmed that CitCo has been paying $20,000 a week to the company since mid-October as Mayor Bradley had indicated last week. He said he was expecting the Council to start making double payments in December, which would amount to $56,000 a week since CitCo’s obligation to BML is actually to pay $78,000 a week