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Emergency Fund to be used to clean Mobay

Published:Monday | December 19, 2016 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas
Charles Sinclair

Western Bureau:

The St James Municipal Corporation has approved a motion for J$10 million to be taken from its Emergency Fund to begin drain cleaning, sidewalk repairs, and other beautification work in downtown Montego Bay over a six-month period, starting next month.

The motion was made by councillor for the Montego Bay North East division, Charles Sinclair, during a special meeting of the corporation yesterday to name the chairmen and vice-chairmen of 12 committees to serve under the administration of Montego Bay mayor and corporation chairman, Homer Davis.

"I want to move a motion that this council approve expenditure of a sum not exceeding J$10 million from the Emergency Fund, in the first instance, because it is an emergency situation, for corrective work to be done on the various sidewalks and drains in the urban centre," Sinclair said in addressing Davis at the meeting.

"From what has been said and seen by everyone, the urban centre is in a very terrible state ... . There is a need for serious action and work to be done to cauterise the situation," Sinclair added.

"The drains are broken, some are open, there is pooling of stagnant water, there is solid waste that has clogged up a lot of these drains, and whether daytime or night-time, the urban centre is used by our citizens for various reasons, social, economic and otherwise."

In response, Davis announced that he has been in dialogue with stakeholders concerning the provision of funding for the planned clean-up work to be done in the Second City.

"It will be an ongoing programme, not necessarily funded by the St James Municipal Corporation only. I have been discussing with other agencies of government who have an interest in seeing to the upkeep and cleanliness of the city of Montego Bay, and going forward, we are seeking to have these agencies have matching funds (to support the programme)," said Davis.

"We will be taking on those challenges in the New Year, and I am asking the citizens of this parish to work with us, because we want to get back this city to be a city we are proud of," Davis continued. "I believe in early conversation, but I will not converse in perpetuity, as there comes a time when action will have to be taken. A clean city is a city that is beneficial to all who live, work and traverse in it."

Over the last 10 years, the local authorities in Montego Bay have had to wrestle with persistent issues of improper garbage disposal and the maintenance of the city's drains and gullies, which often get clogged and contribute to flooding.