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PSU and Mayor Belisle Discuss Hilltop Property

PSU and Mayor Belisle Discuss Hilltop Property
February 06
13:29 2019 NEWSPAPER-Feb.6th.-

Members of the Public Service Union (PSU), including its president Doreth Cayetano Obermayer, met with Belmopan Mayor Khalid Belisle recently to discuss plans to re-acquire the Hilltop property used as the union’s headquarters after a controversial sale of the property by the Belmopan City Council to a businessman who is now requesting much more than he paid for the land.

Obermayer told the Reporter that the meeting was cordial and said both sides committed to working together to bring about a resolution to the matter. One issue, however, is that Xin Ni, the businessman who had purchased the property, is requesting compensation of $600,000 although he only bought the land for $400,000 and never took possession of it.

Belisle and the union discussed a proposal submitted by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, that the property be purchased from Ni’s company, Simplex Design Co. Ltd., by the government and sold to the union at $400,000, considering money already spent by the union toward the property. Additional to the $600,000 purchase price, Simplex is requesting its legal fees and stamp duty be covered by the purchaser.

There were also discussions about potentially providing Simplex with another property of the same value elsewhere in exchange for the Hilltop property. Belisle, however, said the City Council had been unable to locate such a property up to the time of the meeting with the union. Belisle said the City Council has committed to returning the property to the PSU if it is able to secure another suitable piece of land for Simplex.

The union also asked for consideration of $227,000 it claims it invested in the property over the past 17 years and agreed to share its records of payments with the Council to facilitate the request. Belisle noted that he would need to discuss the matter with his Council and committed to meeting with the union for a follow up and to update them on the status of the Hilltop acquisition. Belisle also said he would try to facilitate a meeting with the principals of Simplex to see how they could best resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

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