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Leaking roof in Portland's Musgrave market irks vendors

Published:Saturday | November 4, 2017 | 2:12 PMGareth Davis Snr
A female vendor in the Musgrave market in Port Antonio, Portland looks at stalls covered by tarpaulin to prevent further damage from a leaking roof to goods.

A number of vendors in the Musgrave market in Port Antonio, Portland are now assessing their losses after a leaking roof dumped gallons of water on their goods.

This is after millions of dollars was spent recently by the Portland Municipal Corporation to effect repairs to the roof of the market.

After four days of heavy rains last week, several stalls became inundated, triggering dozens of vendors to become irate and threatened to take legal action against the local authority.

The damage from the heavy downpour again raised questions about the poor quality work being carried out by government contractors.

“Once again taxpayers money has gone down the drain," lamented Leroy Graham, who occupies a shoe stall at the market.

He continued: “This is substandard work at its highest and the situation is probably worst than before. While the intention to repair the roofing was a welcome and timely one, the implementation, in terms of workmanship, is poor. And with the rainy period returning, we will suffer more damage to our goods, especially when it rains at nights. The contractor doesn’t deserve a penny and he should be charged."

Another vendor, Viveen Bartley, argued that even though they oftentimes fail to sell a single item during a one week period, they have to comply with the payment of vending fees.

“What are we paying vending fees for," she questioned.

“Who will compensate me for my shoes and sneakers that were damaged? Even a shoemaker would have done a better job," she complained.

The butchers' section, craft vendors area, along with those areas designated for selling agricultural produce and clothing were affected by the leaking roof.

But Mayor of Port Antonio Paul Thompson has assured the vendors that the situation will be remedied in short order, as the officer in charge of the market is in dialogue with the contractor to carry out the necessary corrective measures.

“We spent approximately $10 million to do the repairs," Thompson disclosed.

He said payment to the contractor will be withheld until the issues are rectified.

Thompson said if the issues are not corrected then the services of another contractor will be sought.