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Melrose Yam Park could reopen November

Published:Friday | October 15, 2021 | 12:08 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
The Melrose Yam Park in Manchester has been shuttered because of public-health concerns.
The Melrose Yam Park in Manchester has been shuttered because of public-health concerns.

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

Following the closure of the Melrose Yam Park by health inspectors two months ago, chief executive officer at the Manchester Municipal Corporation, Winston Palmer, said the facility could reopen in another three to four weeks.

The popular vending site was shuttered because of a slew of public-health concerns, including pest infestation, as well as wastewater and solid waste management. However, Palmer revealed that more than half the improvement works have since been completed.

“Wastewater system for stalls have been rectified, pest control activity done, including the spraying of manholes, removal of wasp, cleaning of stall internal and external, replacement of a damaged door in bathroom and the installation of the urinals are ongoing,” said Palmer.

He said other rehabilitative works will continue.

That will include the installation of additional stainless steel hand-wash sinks in the stalls.

There are also concerns that vendors have engaged in services which were not compliant with their contracts.

“There were persons serving rice and peas and soup. There were igloos with liquor ... . We will have to monitor to ensure that these stalls are only selling roast yam and salt fish,” said Palmer.

“If there is an individual in breach, then we can lock that particular stall.”

As a condition of the reopening, each vendor will have to undergo training. They will also have to apply for enterprise licences and food handler’s permits, Chief Public Health Inspector Charmaine Palmer-Cross has said.

The corporation CEO issued a stern warning to vendors about the consequences of non-compliance.

“We will be helping the vendors to secure their livelihood, but they also have a responsibility,” said Palmer-Cross.

“If you have 20 vendors and one vendor has gone out of line, we have the padlocks to lock that stall to prevent a problem with the entire facility.”