Market delay

July deadline for Port Maria facility pushed back

BY SHANAE STEWART
Observer staff reporter
stewarts@jamaicaobserver

Monday, April 15, 2019

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THE deadline for the long-awaited market in Port Maria, St Mary, has been pushed back, chairman of the parish's Municipal Council, Richard Creary has said.

Creary, the mayor of Port Maria, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer North & East recently, said a number of setbacks have resulted in the extension of construction on the project, previously scheduled for completion in July of this year.

Work on the market began in July 2018 when Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie symbolically broke ground for the construction of the first floor of the expected two-storey facility.

Creary said he was not able to give a new date for completion of the market which will be housed on the first floor.

A total of $66 million has been budgeted for the “modern” facility which formed part of a $400-million island-wide project by the Government to improve markets across the country in financial year 2018/19.

“...So far I have not received any information that suggests that the budget is not, or will not, be maintained,” the mayor said.

Creary told Observer North & East that the current delay is due, in part, to safety inspections being carried out by representatives from the Local Government Ministry.

In the meantime, he said vendors who were temporarily relocated are exercising patience as work to complete the facility, first thought of in 2008, continues.

Creary said vendors were given a space to operate from on the same market compound and have had no complaints, so far.

”The original plan was to have them relocated to the old fire station which was down the road, but a vendor made the suggestion that we instead relocate them beside the meat shop, seeing as the persons who purchase meat are the same people who also support the market vendors,” said Creary.

He said vendors are pleased with the arrangements that have been made for them and are looking forward to moving into the new market.

“When I was mayor in 2008, we proposed this idea but it did not materialise up until July of last year. If you look across the island, you would realise that most of the markets in Jamaica are just big open sheds. This market in Port Maria will be much different. We are building a two-storey facility and will be renting commercial spaces just like any other plaza in the town of Port Maria.

“There isn't any other market in Jamaica that is constructed this way and it is deliberately being done so. Right now we are in the first phase, which is the ground floor, and hopefully, the building of the upper floor will commence shortly,” said Creary.


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