Most vendors obeying no-vending order in Falmouth's Water Square
Mayor of Falmouth Colin Gager's determination to make Water Square a no-vending area seems to be working, almost like a charm. Except for a few vendors seeking to have it their own way and began setting up stalls in the square, most were obeying and were in the designated area.
Those who have disobeyed the mayor's decision were being removed by Municipal Officers, and the police.
Superintendent Carlos Russell, who is in charge of the officers enforcing the order, said most vendors have complied.
"The problem is that all the vendors want to be at the front. I have walked the whole compound and there are empty spaces further in from the front, yet everyone believes that if they are not at the front, then they will not make any sale," the superintendent said.
Elisha Steele, one of the vendors who is now relocated, complained of the small space he has to now operate in. According to him, he has paid too much money for the little space, and that will limit his sales. Mayor Gager countered that by telling him not to display all his goods at one time. "Have some packed way, and when an item is sold, you take out another one," he was advised
Conscious of the fact that some vendors could return to Water Square at night, the Mayor said plans were in place to thwart any such attempt.
"We will have the police working with us, along with our municipal officers, to continue the enforcement," a smiling mayor informed.
Water Square is clear of vendors, but the construction of the Market Street/Cornwall Street crosswalk is hampering business at the petrol station in the square. Owner Richard Shirley told The Gleaner that taxi drivers have decided to use the station as a taxi park.
"The entrances to the station have been blocked off; the taxi operators drop off and pick up in whatever little space there is, and the whole area is congested. As a result, nobody comes to purchase gas from the station. It has affected my sales so badly; I have to lay off attendants. Look, I have 10 pumps and only one attendant, and she can sit down with nothing to do," he pointed out.
Shirley said he was given a Notice from Port Authority of Jamaica ( PAJ) that the four crosswalks would be completed by December 17.
"Today, only one is finished, and the one now being constructed is having a most negative effect on my business. I questioned Mark Hylton of PAJ whether penalties were not applicable in the contract the contractor had, but he was not able to provide an answer.
Kimberly Stiff of the PAJ's Communication Department, who had promised to provide answers surrounding the crosswalks, had still not done so at the time of writing this article.