KSAMC wants JPS to pay encroachment fees

BY CLAUDIENNE EDWARDS
Observer writer
edwardsc@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, September 24, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!


A suggestion made at last Friday's Finance Committee meeting of the KSAMC for the local authorities to charge the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) encroachment fees of four per cent of its net income, is to be presented to Kingston Mayor Delroy Williams for further examination and discussions.

The suggestion for the municipalities to charge the JPS encroachment fees of four per cent of its net income was made by People's National Party (PNP) Councillor Dennis Gordon (Maxfield Park division).

Gordon's suggestion was made after the meeting was told that research showed that the municipalities islandwide could earn US$17 million in encroachment fees from JPS for six months.

Earlier this year a legal opinion from the attorney general stated that the municipalities islandwide had a right to charge the utility companies easement fees.

The April meeting of the Finance Committee which discussed the cess on the utility companies as one of the ways to increase income, decided to set up a subcommittee consisting of eight councillors — five from the Jamaica Labour Party and, three from the PNP — and three other individuals.

At the meeting on Friday, Vernon McLeod, chairman of the Finance Committee, reported on the subcommittee discussions.

He said that research findings presented to the committee showed that the JPS' six months' gross earnings was US $431 million.

On the basis of research done on how formula charges were being done under other jurisdictions, and based on the JPSCo June 2018 published report, if the council applied four per cent, the lowest tier of the research, all of the municipalities could earn US$17 million in encroachment fees from JPS for six months, McLeod said.

McLeod said that the subcommittee discussed the implications the charges could have for the general public, as the JPS would likely deem the encroachment fees a tax that would likely be passed on to consumers.

Also explored by the subcommittee was the possibility of the intervention by the Minister of Finance if the charges were going to have national implications.

The subcommittee was of the view that the easement charges should be discussed with the Ministry of Local Government and the Minister of Finance prior to a final decision being taken.

The legal analysis stated that under Section 23 of the Electricity Act (2015), the JPS in order to place or move any transmission line or distribution line above ground, underground, along, over, or across any street, “requires the express written consent of the relevant municipal corporation/local authority”.

It also pointed out that under Section 4 of the Parochial Roads Act, powers were granted to municipal corporations “for the exclusive care, management, control and superintendence over all highways, public roads, thoroughfares, streets, lanes, aqueducts, and bridges in the parish for which it is appointed, with some exceptions”.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT