Mixed reactions over proposed reopening of Green Island Post Office
Claudia Gardner, Assignment Coordinator
WESTERN BUREAU:While some residents of Green Island in Hanover are waiting with bated breath regarding the reopening of the town's post office, one community leader says it is better to take a wait-and-see approach as to the fate of the facility, which has been closed for more than three years.
This follows an announcement made by National Works Agency (NWA) parish manager for Hanover, Wayne Cover, at the regular monthly meeting of the Hanover Parish Council last Thursday, that his organisation would be undertaking works at the facility in order to bring it up to minimum habitable standards.
Cover said the NWA would be installing electrical wires and receptacles in the building, as well as working on the flooring and installing windows. He added, however, that the finishing works, such as painting and other minor details would not be undertaken by the NWA.
"Upon completion, the Postal Corporation of Jamaica can move in; if they want to, they can. But it is not that the building will be complete; it will be enclosed and it will be habitable. It won't be painted ... we will be implementing based on the funding," said Cover.
In October 2011, ground was broken for the construction of a new $5 million post office to replace the previous one, which had fallen into a state of disrepair. The construction was funded under the Constituency Development Fund, and the Hanover Parish Council was assigned as the implementing agency and should have completed the facility in December of that year.
One resident, Marcel Bogle, told Western Focus that she was happy that finally the hopes of the community, which had suffered over the past three years, would be realised.
"I am happy because it looks like finally it will be finished and reopened," said Bogle. "I don't think it's foolishness they are telling us this time, because I went and looked over there the other day and realised it's only a little bit of work left to be done there."
happy with development
"I didn't even realise before that the building had reached so far, because once dem put in the windows and the wiring and cast the floor, the building would be ready. All those things don't take a lot of time to be done, so they should finish before the six weeks," Bogle added.
Another resident, Stacy-Ann Paisley, of Salt Spring in the area, told Western Focus that she was extremely happy about the announcement as many residents, including pensioners from her community, have had to make a 22-kilometre trip to Lucea to get their mail and bills, sometimes in vain.
"It affected the residents really badly. Many of them are very poor and they go to Lucea, pay fares, and sometimes they get no mail and have to return in the week. That is very stressing because that cost them another $320, so I am very happy to hear this," Paisley said.
But vice-president of the Green Island Development Area, Leonard Sharpe, said the residents of the town had been disappointed so many times, that they should perhaps not begin to get their hopes up.
"Since they made the announcement a lot of people are anxiously waiting to see the outcome, because people are saying they are tired to take taxi to Lucea, paying $300 and not getting any mail, and old people who have to collect their PATH (Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education) money and those things," Sharpe said.
"We just have to keep our fingers crossed, because sometimes dem talk things and it no work. We have to wait and see, because we can't be anxious and glad and say it going to finish. Because a same thing dem did say when dem get di millions of dollars (in October 2011) - they said we will get the post office reopened by Christmas, and look how much Christmas gone already," he added.