MoBay’s mayor strikes a deal with Bogue squatters
Montego Bay's Mayor, Councillor Homer Davis, and the persons illegally occupying lands owned by the St James Municipal Corporation at the Bogue Industrial Terrace in the western city have come to a financial agreement to legitimise their use of the land.
The most important decision was arrived at during a meeting between the mayor and illegal occupiers at the municipal building earlier this week.
"Coming out of the dialogue, the municipal corporation and the occupants have arrived at an understanding," said Davis. "There is an agreement to pay six years' back-rental for the use and occupation of the land, and the corporation will do a calculation and the pertinent information will be forwarded to the occupants no later than February 14."
He continued, "There will be a second sit-down in early March to continue the dialogue and for the corporation to give a status report on the process for the disposal of the land. The corporation will proceed with a sales agreement that is guided by the government's Land Divestment Policy. The local authority will also proceed to get an approval for the subdivision of this property at Bogue Industrial Estate in order to obtain splinter titles for the prospective occupier/buyer. I am not looking beyond six months before we have a signed sale agreement on the table of all occupiers of this land."
Davis further noted that for the duration of the process to prepare the sales agreement, his administration will ensure that no further developments, leasing or expansion of the properties is undertaken by the occupiers.
The Bogue Industrial Estate property, which consists of 51,736.46 square metres (5.174 hectares) of land adjacent to the Fairview Commercial Complex in south-eastern Montego Bay, was initially developed as an automotive node for street-side garages. However, after subdivision of the property was delayed, the land was taken over by commercial squatters who currently occupy 25 of the 26 lots at the location.