The taps at the Nature Fun Ranch, a farm charity for at-risk youth, have been unlocked.
Weeks after making a plea for urgent financial help to clear a $25,000 water bill, founder Corey Layne told Barbados TODAY that the state-owned Barbados Water Authority (BWA) reconnected the water supply, four days after it was cut off.
He said the ranch, which depended on donations, was now awaiting word from the BWA on whether the outstanding bill could be waived.
“We were contacted by the BWA because of the outpouring of support for the organisation. We are now locked in terms of negotiations, and in terms of how we can correct this particular issue.
“I would like to really thank the BWA and I would like to thank those Barbadians who reached out and provided various donations, both for the water bill as is, and also to make commitments to help us with our monthly bill. I think that was really the purpose of speaking to you the media about it. I think when we have a problem we don’t need to hide it because we are all in this together,” Lane said.
“They have sent an inspector teaching us how to read the meter. But we are still in negotiations. We have applied for a waiver, and it has not been decided as yet because it has to go to the BWA’s board for a final decision. So they turned it on in good faith during the negotiation period,” he added.
In an article published in Barbados TODAY on May 28, Lane blamed water thieves for the arrears as he spoke to reporters at the Bruce Vale, St Andrew ranch.
At that time, Lane said he awoke to find a padlock on the water main outside the farm. He said persons stole the ranch’s water because of water shortages in the east of the island.
However, he told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that following his appeal, members of the public had suggested that he should take money from his pockets to help pay the bill.
Lane said he believed the suggestion was unreasonable, since he has been using his own money to help fund the ranch since it opened its doors.
“There are some people that made unfortunate comments that I should take up my money and continue to pay. What they don’t know is that I do that already with the food. I do that with the feed.
“It is a tremendous burden on me I can no longer carry. Two hundred of our young people on a monthly basis are on my back. And I would like more Barbadians, corporate Barbados and Government to step up and assist our young people,” he said.