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Councillors get $3 million for drought mitigation

Published:Saturday | July 13, 2019 | 12:13 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer

The Ministry of Local Government has provided $3 million to the 16 councillors in the St Ann Municipal Corporation to assist with drought mitigation in their respective divisions.

Chairman of the corporation and Mayor of St Ann’s Bay Councillor Michael Belnavis, who spoke with reporters on Thursday, said the money would be allocated in amounts of between $150,000 and $200,000 per division, depending on the severity of the drought situation.

“Those divisions in the hills, in the southern part of St Ann, will receive larger allocations. My own division, Ocho Rios, will be getting a smaller amount as we’re not so badly affected,” he told The Gleaner.

Belnavis said that two trucks owned by the municipality that had been in need of repair had been fixed and were ready to go. He said additional trucks would be contracted where necessary.

He added: “Of course, the [National] Water Commission will be doing some trucking of water to affected areas that they serve. We’re being proactive in assuring that we enough water to deal with issues.”

Several councillors at Thursday’s monthly meeting said their divisions were being severely affected by the dry weather conditions.

Genevor Gordon-Bailey said the people in her division of Lime Hall were “suffering” for want of the precious commodity. During the meeting, councillor for the Bensonton division, Lydia Richards, received a text message from a resident of York that simply read, “York tank dry,” which she shared with the meeting.