Inside the Municipal Corporations | Cemetery, bridge top St Mary concerns
Open graves in the White Hall Cemetery, the dilapidated state of the Westmoreland Bridge, and the efforts to regularise Annotto Bay's transportation centre were among the most pressing issues discussed at the St Mary Municipal Corporation's monthly meeting last Thursday.
Councillor for Hampstead in Central St Mary, Mitsy Hudson, complained that open graves in the Whitehall Cemetery remained a public-health concern one month after she first highlighted the problem.
At the same time, Annotto Bay's councillor, Hugh Bryan, claimed that residents in his area were preparing to protest over the local transportation centre, which, he said, was defective and poorly managed.
FUND ROAD REHAB
Deputy Mayor Jason James made a motion to rename Brimmer Vale High School in Port Maria, and there were calls for funds to rehabilitate roads in Oracabessa, Belfield, and Carron Hall, following the recent heavy rains.
Speaking after the meeting, Mayor Richard Creary expressed concern over the disintegrating infrastructure of the four-year-old Westmoreland Bridge, which joins central and southeast St Mary, but noted that since the start of 2017, congestion in the capital, Port Maria, has reduced significantly, thanks to a clampdown on illegal vending and unauthorised taxi and bus stops.
He told The Gleaner: "We recently went on a tour of the Westmoreland Bridge with the Mines and Geology Division and the National Works Agency (NWA) and saw how pillars that hold the bridge are severely threatened because the water level has fallen, and so all the boulders and reno mattresses that were placed around the footings have moved.
"If this erosion continues, we might actually lose that bridge, which doesn't make any sense because it cost $1 billion to build. The NWA is well aware of the issue, and I would urge them to act immediately because I really think corrective measures need to be put in place to ensure the bridge is preserved."
... Creary bats for small business in St Mary
Port Maria Mayor Richard Creary, who is councillor for the Richmond division, has announced plans to relaunch his Local Economic Development Fund (LEDF).
"As the name suggests, the idea is to empower citizens to start some form of business. We've increased the amount from $200,000 to $300,000 to help persons establish small businesses, whether it's to rear chickens or pigs or stock out a shop," Creary said.
"As politicians, we find that people come and ask for something today and then want something again. The aim of the LEDF is to help persons become self-sufficient small-business owners so they don't keep coming back."