Fri | Aug 17, 2018

Plans afoot for St James fire stations, says McKenzie

Published:Monday | April 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry/Gleaner Writer
Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie (right) in discussion with Mayor of Kingston, Delroy Williams (left), and Commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Raymond Spencer, aboard a fireboat handed over to the brigade during a ceremony at the fireboat station in Newport East, Kingston, last week.

Western Bureau:

Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie says plans are now at an advanced stage for St James to have both a proper fire station and a fireboat station, which will make the parish fully equipped to fight fires both on the ocean and on land.

Speaking at last week's monthly sitting of the St James Municipal Corporation, McKenzie explained that a contractor for the two projects will be selected by June this year. He said once the contractor is in place, work will commence.

"I have spoken about it before, but now I think I am in a better position to speak on the progress of the fire station here in Montego Bay," said McKenzie.

"I am pleased to announce this morning that the design for the station has now been completed and has met the satisfaction of the international agency which is providing the funding," he said.

"Tender for the construction of the brigade will be completed by June and we are expecting that by the downside of this year, the construction of the long-awaited and long-overdue fire stations in Montego Bay will commence," he added.

According to the local government minister, approximately $20 million will be spent to build the new fireboat station.

"I will be commissioning into service the two fireboats that have been acquired by the Jamaica Fire Brigade since this administration took office and those boats will be in operation, so at least we will be able to respond if there is a fire at sea," McKenzie said.

St James and the city of Montego Bay have been without a proper fire station and fireboat for more than 10 years. The fire station which previously served the parish was abandoned because it was no longer habitable.