Mayor begs citizens to donate land for fire station
Chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation and Mayor of Montego Bay, Homer Davis, is extending an invitation to citizens of the parish with suitable unused lands to consider donating a piece of their property for the building of a fire station.
The Second City has been operating for close to 15 years without a proper fire station, which is now raising concerns about its capacity to effectively respond to fires in the parish as well as the conditions under which firefighters are working.
"In the interest of development of Montego Bay, I would say that I am sure that the Ministry of Local Government and the St James Municipal Corporation would be too happy to receive that gift," Davis recently said.
"So if there is any good citizen in Montego Bay who has a size space that can accommodate the St James Fire Department, we would be fortunate to use that property for the construction of the fire station."
The previous fire station, which was situated along Barnett Street in the city, was demolished some years ago after the building was deemed too dilapidated to be occupied. Firefighters were then moved to a location at Freeport on the outskirts of downtown Montego Bay, where they currently remain.
NO SUITABLE GOV'T LAND
However, Davis is resolute in his belief that a fire station needs to be located in downtown Montego Bay and is now pleading with private citizens to come to the rescue of the city and parish, by extension, by making suitable lands available to build the Montego Bay Fire Station.
"In Montego Bay, there are no suitable government lands, and that is where the challenges lie. So we are making an effort because I don't think that a city like Montego Bay should be without a fire station in the city," the mayor outlined.
Additionally, Davis noted that while the Government lacks suitable land space, the funding is ready and waiting to begin construction once one is identified.
In the meantime, he is asking the St James Fire Department to survey the guild club lands to see if it meets their needs.
In 2016, Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie, at a town hall meeting, had guaranteed the citizens of St James that Montego Bay would have its own fire station and that construction would have commenced in the 2017-2018 financial year.