Mayor Belnavis wants gov't to withhold money for non-functioning street lights
Mayor of St Ann’s Bay, Michael Belnavis, wants the Government to withhold payment to the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) over malfunctioning street lights across the parish.
Belnavis says St Ann is suffering from a lack of street lights in several communities.
He says the problem of non-functioning street lights has been ongoing for several years without resolution.
Belnavis says the municipal corporation believes that strong action should be taken to get the matter addressed.
He was speaking at a press conference on Friday following a two-day retreat for the municipal corporation.
Local authorities have been complaining for years that they are being charged by JPS for street lights that are not working.
However, the light and power company has stressed that its ability to fix non-functioning street lights is being hampered by the failure of the Government to pay over money for the maintenance of street lights.
Last week, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Denzil Thorpe, told Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee that the debt owed to JPS by municipal corporations for street lights has increased to $5 billion from the $4 billion estimated last year.
Thorpe said there is still no clear information on the number of working street lights among the more than 100,000 lampposts that are estimated to be in the island.
He also stated that JPS and ministry officials are to meet later this month to continue discussions on the matter.