Sat | Dec 5, 2020

Major concerns still plaguing Falmouth Market

Published:Friday | July 26, 2019 | 12:06 AMLeon Jackson/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

The more than 700 vendors at the newly constructed $300-million Falmouth Municipal Market in Trelawny are unhappy with the conditions at the facility, which was constructed by the Port Authority of Jamaica.

According to the vendors, one section of the market is still uncovered and another part was covered by an inferior quality tarpaulin. Several months ago, Falmouth Mayor, Colin Gager told The Gleaner that the company which was contracted to complete the covering would face legal action for not completing the job satisfactorily.

The mayor had also promised that new 12 feet by 12 feet stalls, which are considered ideal to accommodate vendors, would be constructed.

“I believe the promise to build the stalls was an empty promise,” a vendor told The Gleaner on Wednesday. “I have no faith in what the mayor says. As long as I make my money, I will continue to pay the $2,000 weekly fee, but I am not happy about it.”

In May, the mayor reported that he had uncovered a racket, where market fees were being siphoned off and going into the pockets of unscrupulous persons. “We have changed the staff at the market and put in new people and going forward, we will be seeking to introduce a cashless system to cover all transactions, to include the collection of market fees,” the mayor said at the time.

NO EVIDENCE

However, when The Gleaner visited the market on Wednesday, there was no evidence of the promised cashless system. Persons manning the parking area were seen collecting cash and offering receipts.

The Gleaner made calls to the mayor’s telephone seeking an explanation as to why the plans to improve accountably was not yet in place, but the calls went unanswered.

The cashless system was slated to be a joint operation between a major bank and the municipal corperation. It was projected to be a critical plank in the mayor’s promise to make Falmouth Market the most profitable in Jamaica.