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Community centre construction slowdown

Published:Tuesday | March 9, 2010 | 12:00 AM

THE JAMAICA Social Investment Fund (JSIF) says it has been building fewer community centres because of a difficulty in finding persons or agencies to take charge of the facilities.

"We have suffered over the years in terms of community centres. There is an issue with community centres in terms of who owns a community centre when you are finished with it," Omar Sweeney, general manager for technical services at the JSIF, said.

Sweeney was speaking at a Gleaner Editors' Forum at the company's North Street, Kingston offices on Monday.

"We have a new policy in place that is related to if a community centre is going to be done. Some government institution will have to partner so that we can ensure the use of the facilities," Sweeney said.

He told the forum that, unlike other facilities built by the JSIF, it is difficulty to guarantee the maintenance of community centres.

Only 12 being built

"It will result in few centres being built. Right now we are building less than a dozen across the island and it is because we have to get that commitment and or a 50 per cent financing with another entity to build them," Sweeney said.

He added: "There is a serious problem with who owns the centres when they are completed. It is government funds and we have to ensure that some government entity has responsibility for the centre so that we don't see them end up like the many others across the island."