Property pickle - KSAC still not sure how many properties it owns
Almost four months after it launched a probe to determine how much property it actually owns, the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) is still unable to produce a correct list.
"The investigation is extremely lengthy. We have to go back through the titles and through the transition process to see exactly how the lands were transferred," town clerk Robert Hill told The Sunday Gleaner recently.
Arguing that the dissolution of the KSAC in the 1980s led to a mix-up regarding titles owned by the entity, Hill said: "A lot of the land was just shifted around, and the process was not done properly."
According to Hill, the KSAC is continuing to work with the National Land Agency and other entities to determine how much real estate it owns.
Last year, the KSAC, in responding to an Access To Information request from The Sunday Gleaner, presented a list of 1,961 properties which it claimed it owned.
However, checks by our news team revealed that several were never owned by the KSAC, while others had been purchased from that entity more than four decades ago.
The properties were spread across volatile and upscale communities within the Corporate Area, and included business establishments, open lots and residential properties.
Presented with the findings of our news team, the KSAC last November promised a full and speedy investigation into the mix-up, but Hill is still unable to say when this will be done. "I won't want to put a timeline on it right now."
Last November, Hill admitted that there has been a lack of proper record-keeping over several gene-rations at the KSAC.
He noted: "What we have to do is to have a series of meetings with all concerned, including the Housing Association of Jamaica, the National Land Agency, the National Works Agency, and others as we try to determine what we own."
The town clerk added that the inspector of the poor would be a key part of the process, as based on the Poor Relief Act, when the KSAC assumes responsibility for an indigent person it also takes control over any property they own.