Wed | Nov 13, 2019

MoBay’s mayor taking aim at unsightly buildings

Published:Wednesday | September 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

The St James Municipal Corporation (St JMC) says it is prepared to take the steps required to demolish some of the many unsightly, derelict buildings in downtown Montego Bay, which are not only an eyesore to the city, but a threat to public safety.

In making the disclosure at last week's monthly meeting of the St. James Municipal Corporation, Montego Bay's mayor, Homer Davis, said he intends to seek the advice of the attorney general on the steps that should be taken to demolish the dilapidated structures.

"Some of these buildings are in a derelict state, meaning, in other words, they are not just unsightly, some are literally falling apart, and we will have these matters in court for months and sometimes years and the matters can't be resolved," said Davis.

"I am prepared to ask my CEO (chief executive officer), through the Ministry of Local Government, to ask the attorney general to give us an interpretation and guide on how we can go about demolishing some of these buildings," added Davis.

The mayor said he was particularly concerned that some of the derelict buildings are being used to conduct business, which is detracting from the effort to make the city look attractive.

"It is a problem. You have these buildings all over the place. It can't be just you (business operators) making money. You have a responsibility to your city," said Davis.

"Shouldn't we as a local authority be able to go in and say, 'listen, we need for you to get these buildings cleaned up or have these buildings painted to fit the overall aesthetic of the city?' We need some regulation," stated Davis.