Lae needs K16m a year for city maintenance

National

THE Lae city council requires K16 million a year to maintain public utilities and amenities, district chief executive officer Robin Calistus says.
Calistus said that a study to identify costings to keep the city clean was K16 million and not K4 million.
He said that K4 million received in a year was inadequate for maintenance – expenses for roads and drainages upkeep, beautification, roadside vegetation, street lighting, garbage collection and
upkeep of public parks and gardens.
“We have taxes for utility bills increasing each year and Lae experiences wet weather anytime of the year which makes it difficult to maintain the cost of grass-cutting and clearing
waterlogged drains each month” Calistus said.
Meanwhile, 27 contractors who provided cleaning and garbage collection service stopped work yesterday morning to complain about overdue payments.
Calistus shared the funding constraints of the city during an independence organising committee meeting on Tuesday.
Calistus told the committee that due to funding constraints, the city council was not able to help keep the city clean in
preparation for  independence celebrations.
The committee financial controller Hilmar Wong said that despite being the second biggest city with an industrial economic hub, it received no funding from the national events council to host  events for its citizens to feel the real meaning of independence.
“It’s no use coming here for the meeting without funding from national executive council,” Wong said.
Wong said that K250,000 was a reasonable budget to organise independence celebrations in Lae.
It is understood that the only funding (K500,000) allocated to Morobe was in 2015 for such as occasion.

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