Morant Bay town to be renovated
Jolyn Bryan, Gleaner Writer
MORANT BAY, St Thomas:
THE ST THOMAS Parish Council is in the initial stages of implementing plans to renovate sections of the town of Morant Bay to make the area more accessible to vendors, commuters and emergency service vehicles. Members of the council, last Thursday, took a walking tour of the Morant Bay Arcade, located on Upton Drive, to determine what measures would need to be taken for the modernisation of the area.
"We are only in the initial stages of the planning," Mayor Ludlow Mathison told Rural Xpress. "We are here to determine what facilities will be needed and the areas that we will need to address".
The renovation is part of the council's agenda for the new year, with several areas to be repaired and remodelled, including the Morant Bay Arcade and the market.
"There are too many vendors out on the streets blocking traffic and making the town congested. We need to move them to facilities that are more suitable," Mathison said.
Vendors who occupy South Street in haphazard stalls and those on West Street, in the vicinity of the market, are of particular concern to the council.
A house on South Street was reportedly lost to fire in 2014 after a fire truck had difficulty navigating the street and reaching a fire hydrant to access water to put out the blaze.
Councillor Hubert Williams, chairman of the finance committee, said the council would be looking to expand the arcade, with possible repairs made to existing stalls and construction of new ones, as well as an expansion and modification of the bathroom facilities.
Existing vendors who rent booths inside the arcade are also calling for the council to improve the lighting of the facility as many of the street lamps have become faulty.
"People are afraid to come in here after hours cause there is no light," Trevor Stewart, a barber, told Rural Xpress. He added: "If they fix that and fix the bathrooms, then we will have a lot more business this way and we can stay open longer hours."