St James Municipal Corporation seeking to collect millions in unpaid rent
The St James Municipal Corporation is on a collection drive to amass revenue of $70 million, which is needed for infrastructure development and for maintaining public facilities.
Mayor of Montego Bay and Chairman of the corporation, Councillor Homer Davis, said the money is to be sourced from the business operators who now occupy lots on the five-hectare Bogue Industrial Estate property.
Speaking at the monthly meeting of the Corporation on April 11, he pointed out that the sum is equivalent to six years of overdue rent.
“Persons occupying Bogue lands in St James are being asked to get in touch with the accounts department at the Corporation immediately. We have some 26 such persons owing a total close to $70 million,” said Davis.
He said he is anxious to have the lots sold.
However, before any sale agreements are signed, the occupiers must be in good standing under the Government’s land divestment policy, he noted.
“We can’t have them owing from $724,000 to a high of $5.7 million,” the Mayor said.
“I have reminded them of the Government’s guidelines as they relate to disposing of government property. You must be in good standing. There are persons out there who think that they can get these lands for nothing. The Contractor General said it must be sold at current market value,” he emphasised.
Davis said the Corporation is already in talks with some occupiers on how best to collect the revenue, and he is inviting others to follow suit.