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Falmouth vendors to get craft market

Published:Saturday | September 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMLeon Jackson
Mayor of Falmouth Colin Gager.

Western Bureau:

After an anxious six-year wait, the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) says that vendors in Falmouth, Trelawny, are poised to get the promised craft market, which is key to the expansion of their various businesses, by mid-October.

According to PAJ official Mervis Edghill, his organisation is now carrying out construction work at the designated site in the hope that the stalls and shops will be ready ahead of the upcoming winter tourist season.

"We are in the process of constructing a market, which will have 15 stalls and eight shops," said Edghill. "The sizes of stalls will be approximately 2.5 metres each. The total cost is set at $40 million."


Blocking restrooms


The news that the stalls will soon come to the fore, has been welcomed by Falmouth's Mayor Colin Gager, who is far from pleased with the existing situation, which sees vendors occupying the compound of the town's public sanitary convenience building.

"The traders have been occupying the compound where the public sanitary convenience is located, and I personally have a problem with the unsightly tarpaulins they have used to construct their tents," said Gager. "In addition, from time to time, people have complained about access to the sanitary convenience.

"At the completion of the craft market, we can landscape the grounds of the sanitary convenience and allow easy access to those who wish to use it," said Gager.

... Good idea, but stalls far too small, say vendors

While the vendors in Falmouth, Trelawny, are generally happy about the stalls in the craft market that is under construction, some are not pleased with the size, saying that they are far too small to accommodate their goods.

"The stalls are much too small and cannot hold our items," said Kayan McGlashan, an established craft trader in the town. "I welcome the idea of a craft market in Falmouth, but the size stalls is not what was promised to us."

However, in responding to the concerns about the size of the stalls, Gager suggested to the traders that they should not try to display all of the items at the same time.

"Put out what can be adequately displayed, and when you get visitors, you inform them of what other items you have," said Gager. "You just have to work with what you have."

The craft traders have had a long-running dispute with the Trelawny Municipal Corporation since they were removed from their previous Coopers Pen location, which was required for the construction and expansion of a hotel.