…plan to raise objections with City HallAt a joint press conference on Monday, the Georgetown Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GCCI) and the Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) both said they were dissatisfied with the proposed return of the controversial parking meter project, adding that their experts would review the amended by-laws with the intent of raising their objections with the administration.From left: GCCI Executive Director Richard Rambarran; Don Sing and Marcel Gaskin of MAPM, GCCI President Deodat Indar, MAPM’s Kumar Ramnauth and GCCI Senior Vice President Nicholas BoyerGCCI President Deodat Indar said the Chamber’s interest in the project was as a result of the concerns of members, recalling the disastrous effect the project had when it was first implemented in 2017.“We have to get our experts to go through the by-laws to make sure we find the areas where we believe that it’s not good for the city, and we will so make that available to the Town Clerk and the Council at City Hall and we will so inform the Minister of Communities of the areas we have found that are troublesome or ticklish in our view,” Indar noted.“A year ago, a number of people from this Chamber took two separate walks around the city during the implementation of the parking meter project and when we were there talking to business people, 99 per cent of them said business went down between 30-70 per cent,” he stated.Additionally, he noted that it was shocking when they saw the numbers, explaining that businesses felt the worst of the impact. He further outlined that the GCCI had 14 days to raise objections to the amended by-laws before the legislation went to Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan for his approval.Indar said the GCCI’s position remained the same: no impact assessment, environmental study or feasibility study was done to give rise to a parking meter system, which is touted to act as a revenue generation unit for City Hall. He also alluded to the fact that the city streets were deserted when the project was first implemented, because citizens refused to pay the exorbitant sum for parking.Meanwhile, MAPM’s Marcel Gaskin said they were prepared to take to the streets again if the project went ahead in its current form. He explained that MAPM was not against a metered parking system in the city, rather it was against the manner in which the project came about.He, like Indar, bashed City Hall for not conducting a feasibility and financial study in addition to a means assessment, adding that MAPM was hopeful Minister Bulkan would address its objections favourably.“We submit that the tender procedure as outlined in (Municipal and District Councils Act Chapter) 28:01 was breached by City Council. We are maintaining that the national procurement act was breached by City Council in soliciting services from Smart City Solutions and we maintain the position that if these things are addressed in a proper manner, then we will have no objection to a metered parking in the city,” Gaskin added.Gaskin further related that they needed to see proper data before giving the go-ahead to the parking meter project.The amended parking meter by-laws were approved on April 4, 2018 by a majority vote. Now that the amended by-laws are approved, the city administration will have to display them for a minimum of 14 days in public spaces and during that time persons could write to City Hall expressing their concerns.Following that 14 days of public display, the adopted by-laws will be forwarded to Minister Bulkan for his approval; if such is given, they will then be gazetted.Under the new agreement, persons will be paying $150 per hour and $800 for eight hours of parking in the city. Meanwhile, residents of the city would be issued with a restricted residential pass for free parking from 17:00-19:00h Monday to Friday while parking will be free on Saturdays.