Railway Corporation to manage the People’s Arcade – MoBay’s mayor
Christopher Thomas - Gleaner Writer
The St James Parish Council's plans to remove squatters from the People's Arcade in Montego Bay has hit a snag, as the Jamaica Railway Corporation, which owns the land on which the property is located, has voiced its intention to take charge of the property.
Montego Bay's mayor, councillor Glendon Harris, who is also chairman of the parish council, made the disclosure during a press conference held at the Parish Council on Thursday.
"We came upon a hurdle where the land is owned by the Railway Corporation. They have written to me indicating that, at this time, they would want to manage the property, based on several factors, in that the Railway will be divested, and they have to take a hold of all their properties," said Harris.
"What was proposed, which was that we would take over and manage it (People's Arcade property), is not on the table at this time, (but) we have to deal with the regulation of it by way of the public health and safety," added Harris.
The mayor was giving an update on the Parish Council's progress in removing squatters from the People's Arcade, following a tour of the facility, which was done by representatives of the council and other agencies in August.
During that tour, it was discovered that some of the shops in the facility had been converted into dwellings, with illegal electricity and water connections and household waste being dumped into the nearby gully.
Following that discovery, it was announced that the arcade would be temporarily closed and the owners of the shops identified, following which there would be demolition of shops whose owners could not be ascertained.