During the Hope Town District Council meeting on October 19, issues with garbage collection were discussed and plans totaling over $14 million were passed as they dealt with a variety of matters for the district.
Nicholas Sands, the contractor responsible for residential garbage collection in Great Guana Cay expressed concerns at not being able to collect payments from vacation rental home owners.
Chief Councillor Jeremy Sweeting noted that Mr. Sands contract is for residential trash collection – whether a home owner or long term rental – and that vacation rentals are considered commercial and have to pay for garbage collection.
Mr. Sweeting noted that this is the only district that is facing this particular problem. Mr. Sands has picked up trash from these residences for three months now and only a few have paid their bills.
The Council, after discussion, advised that Mr. Sands is only obligated by his contract to pick up trash from residences as prescribed in his contract and those commercial properties – including vacation rentals – that pay for pick-up.
The Council also discussed the need to ensure that vacation rental homes are managed by Bahamians as the government is losing too much revenue otherwise.
A resolution was put forward to send a formal invitation to the Mayor of Port St. Lucie after Mr. Sweeting received a Key to the City from Mayor JoAnn Faiella while he toured their City Hall.
The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) building in Man-O-War was turned over to the Council and will be used as a multi-agency office for bill collection as well as a public bathroom. The Council approved funds to be used to paint and clean up the facilities.