Modern market coming to Portmore - Vendors to be relocated from Mandela Highway entrance
It won't be anything like Coronation Market, but residents of Portmore, St Catherine, are being promised a modern market and business complex which will be more than adequate to meet their needs and provide well-needed revenue for the coffers of the municipal council.
This assurance was among several given by acting Mayor for Portmore Leon Thomas, who told The Sunday Gleaner that the market is to be established in the Gregory Park area.
According to Thomas, the Ministry of Local Government is now reviewing plans for the market, and meetings have already been held with residents and other stakeholders to discuss the proposal.
"We have had three consultative meetings already in regard to the market, where we met with the citizens' associations (and) we met with the community in and around where we are going to put the market," said Thomas.
"To have a municipality and an effective municipal council, there are some amenities that you would really want in your municipal council. For a municipality, of course, you want to have your own revenue base, and the market is one of those that we expect to generate revenues from," added Thomas.
The acting mayor said the market will have two levels, and this will allow shoppers to get ground provisions downstairs and general items upstairs.
"It will be an upscale market. We are going to have a market that is enclosed, that can lock up at nights and open in the day."
In addition to the market, the acting mayor said that work is expected to begin later this month on a business complex for vendors who operate at the entrance of Portmore, coming from Mandela Highway.
He said the Portmore Municipal Council would be getting assistance from the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project to build the new business hub, which will be located just a few miles away from where the vendors currently operate.
The aim is to build 40 kiosks for the vendors as part of the general plan to remove the unsightliness from the municipality.
"We cannot operate a municipal council in the way that it is currently ... where you have a lot of shacks all over Portmore, and it's a really ugly sight," argued Thomas.
At present, vendors in the municipality are required to pay $2,500 annually to renew their vending licences, but Thomas said several of these vendors have not been operating in their designated areas.
He said that while some vendors, such as those who sell jerk chicken and flowers, would continue to operate from strategic locations in the municipality, the aim is to get most of the vendors into central locations.