MoBay NIS building still leaking after $500m rehab
WESTERN BUREAU: Workers at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security offices in Montego Bay were forced to catch water from a leaking roof in buckets during heavy rains earlier this week after more than half a billion dollars was spent in 2017 to...
Workers at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security offices in Montego Bay were forced to catch water from a leaking roof in buckets during heavy rains earlier this week after more than half a billion dollars was spent in 2017 to rehabilitate the building after it was flooded.
During a tour on Thursday with other party officials, People’s National Party (PNP) President Mark Golding lamented the situation, demanding answers as to why the building was still leaking despite the spending of such a huge sum.
“They only moved back into the building in September. It looks very nice inside, but the first heavy rain and the place is leaking terribly,” said Golding, who criticised the quality of the work done on the building. “The roof apparently wasn’t properly done … . There are a lot of defects. That’s very disappointing.
“I gathered that over $500 million was spent renovating. How is it that we are spending all this money and the work is not being properly done?” questioned Golding.
The opposition leader further noted that he was advised by Andre Earle, the acting parish manager at the location, that the contractor will be taking another look at the issue to hopefully resolve it.
The Western Regional Office of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, which houses the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) unit, was one of several commercial facilities that were affected by the November 2017 flood rains in Montego Bay.
The building was abandoned and services were temporarily relocated to Cottage Road for four and a half years in a cramped working space, which affected the satisfactory delivery of services to customers.
Michael Troupe, minority leader of the PNP caucus in the St James Municipal Corporation, said prior to the staff reoccupying the building, he had discovered the problem and brought it to the attention of the authorities but nothing was done to address the problem.
“I came inside here one day just before they started to reoccupy the building and it was leaking,” said Troupe.
“I said to the gentleman (the manager), you can’t move in with this, and he said it was going to be corrected. I am surprised to see that we have a shower of rain and end up with this problem,” the councillor said.