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New MoBay vending plan leaves vendors unhappy

Published:Thursday | June 1, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas
Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis


Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis says that effective Monday, June 5, several streets in the western city will be designated no-vending zones and a ban will be placed on the sale of ground provisions along the roadways.

"No vending will be allowed on St James Street, Church Street, Barnett Street, Strand Street, and Orange Street," Davis stated on Wednesday. "No vending will be allowed on handcarts, and no ground provision vending will be allowed anywhere in the city or on the main thoroughfare outside of Williams Street and the Charles Gordon Market."

According to Davis, he recently had a meeting with more than 70 street vendors in the corporation's chambers and had a frank discussion. He said that he explained the need to keep the city clean and the need to have designated vending areas as a way of promoting law and order.

"We have so far registered 66 vendors, and they will be issued with colour-coded IDs, which will identify what streets they will be selling on," said Davis. "If you cannot supply us with an ID from the municipal corporation to show that you are a duly registered vendor, then we are sorry, but we cannot accommodate you."


Concerns over fee


However, while the new vending arrangements were developed with the input of some of the vendors, other vendors are expressing unhappiness with the new situation and are calling on the mayor to revise the new regulations.

"They said they would charge us for maintenance to clean the street, so why can't the mayor keep his word? I am asking the mayor to reconsider and to organise us," said Nickiesha Grayson, a ground provisions vendor.

Other vendors also expressed concerns about the $3,000, which the corporation is asking them to pay as registration fee, saying that it is too high.

"How much is it to register? Suppose mi nuh have the money? It don't make sense," said Sandra Brown, an apple vendor.

Pamela Spence, who sells clothes, also thinks that the registration fee is too high, noting that "we have to be out here in the sun and the rain, so he (Davis) could cut it down".

The vending areas created are as follows:

- Church Lane between the hours of 1 p.m. and 1 a.m.

- Lower Market Street between 10 a.m. and 1 a.m.

- Lower Market Street between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m. (they will only be allowed to sell dry goods and clothes)