Refurbishing work on Hopewell Market costing $2m more
THE DEADLINE for completion of refurbishing work on the meats, fruits and vegetable market in Hopewell, Hanover, has missed its end of December deadline, while incurring an additional $2 million over its original budget.
Following a tour of the facility on Wednesday, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie, while not committing himself to giving a new date for the completion of the facility, stated that he was, however, pleased with the progress of the work.
“I am not going to give a time (for completion of the work), but the additional cost on the amount (allocated) was probably another $2 million, so it was not an enormous amount over the original $20 million that was allocated for the renovation of the market,” McKenzie stated.
Work on the facility which is being done in two phases, started in mid-2021, while the second phase, which is now taking place, started in November 2021. The first phase was done at a cost of $8 million, while the second began was estimated to cost an additional $12 million.
Following the completion of the first phase of work on the market, McKenzie had visited the facility in September 2021 and left very angry about the amount of work done for the money allocated. However, his visit on Wednesday ended on a more pleasant note.
“I am elated, because the adjustments have been made, the consultations with the vendors were held, and the vendors are satisfied. Once the vendors are satisfied, we are satisfied. My only wish is that we can complete the project in a reasonable time, so that the vendors can come back to this location because presently, they are occupying the transportation centre,” McKenzie stated.
He said that when the work is completed, it will give a different look to the town of Hopewell, which has been included in the Ministry of Local Government’s ‘Paint the City, Paint the Town’ project.
Member of Parliament for Hanover Eastern Dave Brown was also pleased with the improvements that are taking place at the Hopewell Market, noting that it will give a transformational look to the town.
Meanwhile, when The Gleaner checked with some of the vendors who have been relocated to the Hopewell Transportation Centre, which is a short distance away from the market, they expressed pleasure at the refurbishing work taking place.
“We had originally said that we were giving them until the end of December. But what we see taking place there now, we all agree that another month or so will do no harm, because it appears that them take we advice and the place will be more comfortable for everybody,” one vendor stated.
The refurbishment at the facility includes a complete overhaul of the meat section, while the fruits and vegetable section was demolished and rebuilt with new stalls, as well as bathroom facilities, perimeter fencing and a parking area added.