Works on phase two of Police Barracks ceases
Friday, September 11th, 2015
On Wednesday, August 26th, works on the second phase of the Police Barracks were reported to have resumed. This coincided with the official visit of Minister of National Security Honorable John Saldivar. The project, which had been stalled for several months, seemed to finally be on its way to completion. However, a few days after the visit of Saldivar, works on the barracks suddenly stopped.
The structure remains the same way as it was several months ago, when construction abruptly ceased. So far, only the foundation and some of the walls have been constructed. The two -story building, which is being constructed under Gaby’s Construction Company is expected to house an educational and recreational facility for the San Pedro Cadet Corps, along with four rooms on the first floor. Meanwhile on the second floor the plan is to include two rooms to house police officers.
A senior officer in the San Pedro Police formation mentioned that they have no idea why the construction suddenly stopped, since they were not informed. On previous occasions, according to local authorities, health issues affecting the contractor had paralyzed works at the barracks. However, this time there was no explanation provided to San Pedro Police as to why works ceased on the building.
According to Councilor Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez, who is in charge of the construction, the present works at the moment being done at the barracks are all based on voluntary service. “Works on the building stopped for now, since on this last phase of the project, we are getting the work done based on volunteering/community service. We will be needing donations to complete the plumbing and electrical part of the construction and so we ask anyone who wants to help, to donate, they can do it at the offices of the Town Council,” said Nuñez. He mentioned that as of next week, more works will take place on the barracks, emphasizing that the assistance of the community will play a big role in finishing the facilities.
The present barracks that are being erected at the police station were once part of the Belize Coast Guard (BCG) facilities in Northern Ambergris Caye. Upon the construction of their base in November of 2013, the BCG donated their previous wooden barracks to the San Pedro police. Local business man Elito Arceo had volunteered to move the material to San Pedro Town. However, the newly elected San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), took over the project and handed over the construction responsibility to Gaby’s Construction, operated by the then Deputy Mayor Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez. It took several months before the material was moved to San Pedro Town from the BCG compound after people started questioning the delay.
According to reports, Minister of National Security Honorable John Saldivar donated $50,000 in order to finish the second phase of the barracks, but the building is far from completion. According to Elito Arceo, the building should have been finished a long time ago since they were provided with the funds necessary to do so. “They came up with a total needed to complete the construction of the barracks, and now I am so surprised that it is not completed yet. The money they received was more than enough as far as I am concerned. So the question is, where did that money go? Because definitely, looking at the state of the building, $50,000 could not have been spent. It’s impossible, and someone needs to give account of where all that money went. The SPTC always stresses on transparency, so it will be good to see a proper record showing how those funds were spent,” said Arceo.
However, according to Mayor Daniel Guerrero before the construction started on the barracks, part of the $50,000 was used to dismantle the facilities that were brought from the old BCG compound to the Police grounds. According to the SPTC, the funds given by the Ministry of National Security were never enough to complete the project, thus, the assistance of the Town Board and the community will be needed to finish the barracks.
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