Loss of contract cripples Gray’s Green group

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ST JOHN’S, Antigua – A community group, which has been a safety net for the poor and vulnerable in Gray’s Green, is on the verge of collapsing after the financial rug was pulled from under its feet.

The 12 year old Gray’s Green Outreach Community Group now has no financial resources, as the funds derived from three trucks it owned is no more.

The three vehicles provided services to the Cooks Sanitary Landfill and The National Solid Waste Management Authority.

The monies earned paid the salaries of 10 employees, gave a monthly stipend to the elderly and single mothers in the community.

The funds were also used for the housing and upkeep of a person living with HIV.

The outreach group also supported five underprivileged children in a home located at the back of the Greenbay Primary School.

Fire victims in the community also benefitted from the funds obtained through the services of the three vehicles, a dump truck, a garbage compactor and a water truck.

The vehicles were donated, in 2006, by Parliamentary representative for St John’s Rural West Constituency, Baldwin Spencer.

Chairperson of the Gray’s Green Outreach, Annette Greenaway, said the group was notified verbally at a meeting, last week, at Solid Waste, that the services of the garbage compactor would be discontinued, effective October 5.

She said she requested a written letter outlining the reason for the decision.

The official letter from Acting General Manager of the Authority, David Spencer came on Monday.

The former civil servant said two weeks previously, the services of the dump truck were terminated.

According to her, the group earned $5700 per week for the use of the garbage compactor and $2500 weekly for the dump truck.

Solid Waste owes the outreach group $31,000.

The organisation also suffered another loss, in that a contract it had with the Antigua Public Utilities Authority APUA to clean the environs of their water catchment facilities in Grays Hill, Cooks Hill and Scotts Hill, expired in July and will not be renewed.

When contacted, the acting general manager of Solid Waste declined to comment. He, however, indicated the Authority would be making efforts to pay outstanding bills to haulers in weekly installments, beginning on October 10th.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)

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