TEF money working in MoBay - Godfrey Dyer
Businessman Godfrey Dyer, the chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), says the organisation is satisfied with the manner in which the $56 million, which was allocated to the St James Municipal Corporation for the beautification of downtown Montego Bay, is being spent.
Dyer, who is a resident of Montego Bay, did a walk-through of the town with the city's mayor, Councillor Homer Davis, to get a first-hand look at the ongoing TEF projects as well as to look at other areas earmarked for additional work.
"I am certainly impressed with what I have seen being done," said Dyer. "Take the bottom of Union Street, for example. Many of us who walk down there know how it used to be, but it is looking so much better now."
The bottom section of Union Street was formerly a source of much headache for the local municipal corporation whenever it rains heavily as the clogged drains would quickly fill up, flooding out the St James/Union Street intersection, which is surrounded by numerous business establishments.
However, thanks to funding by the TEF, the roadway and drains have undergone a major overhaul through the installation of a new drainage system and a spacious sidewalk. Similar work has also been done on Lawrence Lane and upper St James Street.
According to Dyer, Montego Bay was badly in need of the approximately $10 million worth of improvement work that was done. He further noted that facelift initiatives, such as the work that was done, are vital in improving the city's standing in the international tourism market.
... 'We'll be spending a lot of money downtown'
"Montego Bay is a resort city, and tourism is growing very strongly in Jamaica, so we have to make sure it looks good," said businessman Godfrey Dyer. "It must fit very well with the Dump Up Beach Project, which the Urban Development Corporation is undertaking and which will be financed by the TEF."
Clearly satisfied with what has been achieved to date, the mayor is promising that within another four months, the city will be looking even better.
"I also intend to speak with the business people in Montego Bay through the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce to partner to see how we can make the city more aesthetic," Montego Bay's mayor, Homer Davis, said.
"We will be spending a lot of money downtown, and we expect the businesses, particularly on St James Street and those off streets, to reciprocate in our effort to ensure that their buildings are nicer because some of them are quite unsightly."