MoBay mayor to take on Old Shoe Market health concerns
Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis has said the St James Municipal Corporation will be moving swiftly to address the issue of unsanitary practices at the city's Old Shoe Market, which were brought to the fore by the St James Health Department.
"We intend to engage in a discussion with the people at the Old Shoe Market ... we also plan to move in and have a firsthand look at the property to see the critical areas that need immediate attention," Davis told The Gleaner last week. "Based on my understanding, it is a public health risk over there."
The Old Shoe Market, which is located between St James and Harbour streets in downtown Montego Bay, was recently identified by public health inspector Lennox Wallace as in need of urgent intervention due to major health concerns.
"We will be targeting the Old Shoe Market with our rodent control programme, because we have proof that persons are living in there. Babies are being born there, persons use it as their permanent address, but the area does not have potable water or sanitary facilities, and it is used to indiscriminately dispose of garbage," said Wallace.
The Old Shoe Market, which is a significant landmark in the western city, was targeted for infrastructural development by previous administrations at the municipal corporation. There was a 2012 plan by Glendon Harris, the former mayor, to transform the area into a multistorey parking facility. However, the plans never came to fruition.
While claiming that his predecessors failed to deal with the concerns at the facility, Davis said the municipal corporation, as owner of the property, must take responsibility for it.