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Ceasefire in Hanover Municipal, NWA feud

Published:Friday | April 12, 2019 | 12:08 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

The feud between the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC) and the National Works Agency (NWA) over projects being undertaken in the parish by the agency fizzled earlier this week, with both parties agreeing to respect the protocol surrounding the implementation works going forward.

The long-standing dispute between the two entities came to a head in March when it was revealed at the monthly meeting of the corporation that roads in some divisions were being repaired without any interaction with the sitting councillors. Displeased with the situation at the time, some councillors urged the HMC to intervene and stop the projects.

However, at Tuesday’s HMC’s Infrastructure Development and Traffic Management Committee meeting, which was attended by representatives of the NWA, the matter was discussed, and the parties decided to cooperate.

The NWA conceded that while it had given verbal communication about works to be done, it was not followed up with written notifications.

Gareth Bernard, NWA manager, and Janell Ricketts, the agency’s communications officer for western Jamaica, promised full disclosure on upcoming projects, to include works on the Cold Spring to Thompson Hill roadway, which was the scene of a massive roadblock and demonstration, sparked by residents demanding better roads.

“That project (Cold Spring to Thompson Hill roadway) is at procurement now, so it is just to finalise that process, following which we can start on that road,” Ricketts told The Gleaner in an interview following the meeting. “The work should start soon, albeit, I cannot give you a commencement date.”

In terms of the communication glitch with the HMC, Ricketts said that the matter had been resolved, and added that she expected smooth sailing going forward with future projects.

Ricketts said that as a courtesy, the NWA informed all stakeholders before undertaking projects.