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JPS says Westmoreland Municipal Corporation owes $368m for streetlights

Saturday, November 11, 2017

SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland — The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) says the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation owes it more than $368 million for streetlights in the parish.

The disclosure was made on Wednesday by David Lewis, the light and power company's operations manager for Westmoreland, during a property tax town hall meeting at the Sean Lavery Faith Hall in Savanna-la-Mar.

The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development hosted the meeting in partnership with the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation and the Social Development Commission.

Lewis told the gathering that the lack of money is having an impact on the company's efforts to repair streetlights in the parish.

“In terms of effectively fixing these lamps, we have issues in terms of funding. To date, the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation is owing over $368 million to JPS,” Lewis said.

He added: “ Not withstanding that, we still work with the council to replace and repair the lamps that are out.”

Meanwhile, Local Government and Community Development Minister Desmond McKenzie, in responding to the disclosure by Lewis at the meeting, said an audit done earlier this year showed that a significant number of streetlights in Westmoreland have not worked for years.

“And I listened to the amount that the JPS rep says that Westmoreland owes. that is debatable,” McKenzie said.

“We have passed that stage now, because we are working closely with the Jamaica Public Service Company in ensuring that your tax dollar — the money you pay for taxes — to ensure that you have proper, effective, functioning streetlights in your respective communities across the country,” McKenzie said.

He told those attending the town hall meeting that right across Westmoreland, they will be seeing “significant improvements and changes in streetlights”.

— Anthony Lewis

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