Wed | Apr 24, 2019

Developer wants arbitration in Liberty Estate sewage row

Published:Thursday | April 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMBrian Walker/Staff Reporter

Landmark Developers Limited is pushing for arbitration in the sewer system dispute at Liberty Estate, St Ann. Karl Samuda, minister with responsibility for housing, announced last week that he would present Cabinet with a plan for the Government to take over and complete the sewerage infrastructure.

There are 1,200 homes divided into phases with 847 accessing Landmark's sewerage services at a rate fixed by the Office of Utilities Regulation.

"We are in the process of invoking the arbitration clause to the 2014 joint venture agreement. What that means is that the agreement isn't terminated. The agreement will go to arbitration and the party that is found in breach will be determined," Melissa Silvera, managing director of Landmark, told The Gleaner.




Despite the minister's pronouncement, Landmark is moving to finish the project. Silvera noted, "We have a time line of six months because we must upgrade the system to the specifications as per our permit. We had suspended the work, but we are planning to resume very soon with adequate security."

She disclosed that on April 5, Landmark's team received threats when it tried to disconnect non-compliant residents. The matter has been reported to the police commissioner.

The next day, Samuda asked the police to block Landmark from disconnecting residents at a community meeting. He went on to promise improvements, describing the current situation as appalling.

"The sewer system has not been completed, resulting in raw sewage out in the open for everyone to see and smell. On top of that, persons have been disconnected from the system. They had sewage in their yards. This will not be allowed to continue," said Samuda.