Tuesday, July 23, 2024

San Mateo public information session held in San Pedro


The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) continues to work on a plan to upgrade the standard of living and infrastructure in the northern subdivision of San Mateo. A large-scale plan that will include paved streets, drainage systems, better access to utilities, waste management, and even the possible creation of public areas was discussed with the residents during a public meeting on January 23, 2024. The project depends on the community’s feedback. As such, a follow-up discussion was hosted by the SPTC on Tuesday, February 13th, at the Sunbreeze Hotel.
The meeting opened with welcome remarks from Mayor Gualberto’ Wally’ Nuñez. The Mayor emphasized the importance of San Mateo residents attending these events where they can voice their recommendations and help shape the project. Mayor Nuñez said a brighter future is in store for San Mateo. He added that it is a transformative plan supported by his administration, central government, and foreign organizations that fund urbanization upgrades.
Local scientist Valentine Rosado went over the details of the project with the attendees, who were hearing about it for the first time. Many of them indicated missing the previous meeting in San Mateo. Rosado mentioned that, as per the studies, there are over 2,000 residents in San Mateo. Via images, he showed the main areas of the community that will benefit from the project. The presentation exposed the challenges San Mateo residents continue to face, including flooding due to underlying regions affected by rain and high tides, the issue of garbage management, and the need to improve the street networks. The proposed development plans also illustrated the preservation of mangroves on the outskirts of San Mateo and the building of a boardwalk along these areas with vegetation.
Rosado pointed out that such meetings serve as a point of communication with the community and determine the priorities. As such, they once again took recommendations from those in attendance. These new suggestions, such as public areas within the subdivision, were heavily discussed. Members of the SPTC explained that there are no more public properties in San Mateo. Thus, they seek to purchase land spaces to create public areas such as parks.
This project is currently in its first phase, which includes completing a ring road with sidewalks and public service infrastructure. These include lighting, road drains, and home drains, among other developments. According to the presentation, this first part of the project is estimated to cost US$1.5 million. The program costs US$12.5 million and is executed by the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development, and Investment.
The meeting was deemed very productive, and additional engaging activities with San Mateo residents are planned. It was noted that these planned upgrades for San Mateo will be climate-resilient infrastructure and will be a lot more beneficial for the subdivision’s development. The project also aims to make this urbanization plan in San Mateo a model example in San Pedro, Belize, and the region.

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