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St James Parish Council to spend $8m on drain cleaning

Published:Wednesday | May 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Glendon Harris, Mayor of Montego Bay

Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer


WITH THE hurricane season beginning on Sunday, the St James Parish Council is set to ramp up its drain-cleaning programme in its 17 divisions over the next two weeks in a bid to avert flooding in low-lying areas of the parish.

The flood-prone areas include Cambridge, Montpelier, Spring Bottom, Johns Hall, Roehampton, Dumfries, Irwin, Somerton, and Bullock Heights.

Mayor of Montego Bay Glendon Harris told The Gleaner on Sunday that the roads and works department has been doing a comprehensive assessment of all the drains in the parish and the council is looking to spend in excess of $8 million to clean the drains.

"Each councillor has been given an allocation to be used for drain cleaning in their divisions, but the council will be seeking additional funding to deal with this very vital programme as the need arises, so that figure may go up," Harris explained.

Harris also said the parish council would be repairing sections of the North Gully in Montego Bay, which was damaged by floodwaters last week Monday.

North Gully repairs

"We will be spending $4.3 million from an allocation from the Tourism Enhancement Fund to effect repairs to sections of the North Gully, which was extensively damaged by floodwaters last Monday," Harris said.

In the meantime, Tamoy Sinclair, disaster coordinator for the parish of St James, said on Sunday that inspection of the more than 60 shelters in the parish would have begun on Monday, and should be completed by the second week of June.

Sinclair said some relief supplies have already been secured from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, and she was on a continuous drive to secure other supplies to be distributed to needy persons when required.