Thu | Nov 23, 2017

Old Shoe Market plans still in limbo

Published:Monday | November 6, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas
Davis

Western Bureau:

Despite a promise made by Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis just over a month ago, the St James Municipal Corporation was up to last week yet to visit the city's Old Shoe Market, where health and infrastructure issues are badly in need of attention.

When The Gleaner spoke with Davis on Thursday, he gave a new timeline, saying the municipal corporation might not be able to speak to the issue for another two weeks.

"We intend to go over to the Old Shoe Market and see what is happening there, and from that tour we will decide on the way forward," said Davis. "In another week or two weeks, we should be in a position to make a formal statement about the place."

In September, Davis said his administration would enter into discussions with the vendors who currently occupy the Old Shoe Market, which had been identified by the Health Department as being in need of urgent intervention due to health concerns.

"We haven't started anything there as yet because the corporation is in no arrangement with the persons who are occupying the property," the mayor said Thursday.

"They are there illegally, and they and the corporation are in no contractual arrangement whatsoever, but we intend to go in and see what is happening there because we have been getting a lot of reports, which are not good reports."

The Old Shoe Market, which is in the heart of downtown Montego Bay, is one of the city's significant landmarks. It was previously targeted for infrastructural development by previous administrations at the municipal corporation, but that was not done.

In fact, in 2012, former Mayor Glendon Harris announced that the facility would be transformed into a multistorey parking facility, which never came to fruition.