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New Westmoreland municipality building by January

Published:Monday | July 15, 2019 | 12:18 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

Work is to resume on the new $78.4-million Westmoreland Municipal Corporation building in Savanna-la-Mar. Construction activities have been in limbo since last September when the Government terminated the contract of NR Diaram Construction, which started the building in 2015.

Speaking at Thursday’s monthly meeting of the municipal corporation, Savanna-la-Mar Mayor Bertel Moore said work on the building is to resume in August. He said the completion date is set for December.

Moore said the corporation has now received permission from the Ministry of Local Government to resume construction work through a process work by force account, a situation in which payments are made on the basis of the time it takes to complete the work and the material used to finish the job. He said he is targeting full occupancy and an official opening of the building in January 2020. The new building will be located at the intersection of Great George and Murray streets in the parish capital.

Two months ago, Moore, who is also the chairman of the municipal corporation, blamed the delay in the completion of the building on the National Contracts Commission (NCC), which presented a document with typographical errors to the Ministry of Local Government. The document, he said, had to be ammended before work on the municipality’s new headquarters could resume.


“Following our last [monthly] meeting, we have received the go-ahead to resume the construction of our municipal building. So far, we have had one meeting with the technical officer in the Ministry of Local Government, where we have set some targets, and we are going to try our very best as a corporation to meet those targets,” said Moore.

“It will cost the council approximately $46 million more to complete the building for which we have ... [targeted] December, this year, as the completion date,” said Moore. “It’s mainly inside works that are left to be done –partitions, plumbing, electrical, and tiling works.”

Moore added that a site meeting with technical officers from the Ministry of Local Government is set for tomorrow. At that time, the scope of work that is left to be done will be examined ahead of the August restart of construction.

The project was originally slated to last for 10 months. However, because of numerous missed deadlines and other issues, it is still incomplete after four years.