The rehabilitated Administration Building and adjacent Town Hall in the municipality of Punta Gorda was officially inaugurated on October 11th.
The project is part of Government’s Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP), which aims to enhance the infrastructure in the major towns of Belize. Punta Gorda and the entire south went to the PUP in the March 7th General Elections. However, Prime Minister Barrow’s administration is not one to play politics with the development of its people. With, realizing that Punta Gorda is one of the towns in need of most assistance, the rehabilitation of the town’s municipal building was the first infrastructure component of the BMDP countrywide and was completed in record time at a total cost of $425,150, including counterpart funding from the Punta Gorda Town Council.
The project included the rehabilitation of the Punta Gorda Town Administration Offices and adjacent Town Hall, and was implemented by the Project Implementation Unit of the BMDP under the umbrella of the Social Investment Fund. Meanwhile, the contract for the rehabilitation of Pampana and Robert Pennil Streets has been signed, and work will soon start on these streets. This will generate over half a million dollars more ($531,058.00) in street works for Punta Gorda. In addition, there is a second phase of the BMDP project planned for 2013 and, residents of Punta Gorda will again have the opportunity to prioritize important projects to be funded under that phase
The BMDP is a project, financed by the Government of Belize through a loan from the World Bank. The project aims to improve access to basic municipal infrastructure and to enhance municipal management in selected Town and City Councils of Belize. These include Belmopan, Benque Viejo del Carmen, San Ignacio & Santa Elena, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, Corozal and Orange Walk.
The keynote speaker at the inauguration ceremony was Hon. Santiago Castillo, Minister of State with responsibility for Economic Development. In his address, Minister Castillo said that “while today’s event, on one hand, dispels any remaining doubt that Toledo is NO LONGER the forgotten district, on the other hand it underscores the Government’s commitment and seriousness to bring progress to all major municipalities of Belize, including the beautiful town of Punta Gorda.”
He stated that the project was “the result of hard work and the vision of a Government that places the well-being of all Belizeans at the centre of its development programs.” Minister Castillo added that “it is this level of seriousness and commitment that lead the UDP Government to engage the World Bank in early 2008 in negotiations, which resulted in the signing of a $30 million loan agreement for the implementation of the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP).”
Minister Castillo congratulated the residents of Punta Gorda, and hailed them as “the real winners, the true beneficiaries of this project.”
The project was first considered after significant lobbying efforts by the then UDP Area Representative, Peter Eden Martinez and the former UDP Mayor Floyd Lino, both of whom were present at the completion of the project.