HAGUE, Trelawny — Mayor of Falmouth Garth Wilkinson has reiterated the need for the construction of a central sewage system to serve the town of Falmouth and it environs.
Noting the marked increase in housing developments in the area in recent years, Wilkinson said he has been lobbying for such a facility for almost nine years.
" My first duty as a councillor for the Falmouth division in 2004 during a meeting with Minister Dean Peart (then minister of environment) and all the stakeholders was to lobby for a large sewage treatment plant to service the Excellent Resort, the Gore development, Stonebrook, Holland Estate and other developments that were in the pipeline at that time," he explained.
He said that what has happened subsequent to that meeting is that a number of developers "have come into the parish and have built individual satellite sewage plants," which he predicts could spell disaster in the future.
In fact, Wilkinson emphasised that in addition to the plethora of sewage systems erected in the parish by developers, another one will be constructed to serve the new settlement site for residents who were relocated from a section of Tharpe Street in Falmouth.
Wilkinson was speaking to the Observer West during a protest by residents of the Hague community in Trelawny earlier this week. The disgruntled residents claimed that they were being affected by a stench emanating from the sewage system at the nearby Stonebrook Vista housing development in Florence Hall.
The placard-bearing demonstrators also complained that the developers are about to construct another sewage plant in their "front yard".
" Our concerns now are that a new sewage plant is going to be built right before our homes and that the first sewage plant that they built is giving off an odour right now," rued Marcia Hosang Rodney, one of the protesters.
But in a telephone interview with the Observer West, Stonebrook Vista's Director of Operations, Garwin Tulloch rejected the residents' claim.
"There will be no second sewage plant. There is going to be an extension of the current plant which has been approved by NEPA (National Environmental Planning Agency). We have our permit in hand," he stressed.
Meanwhile, Tulloch has expressed a willingness to meet with the residents in a bid to address their concerns.
Like Wilkinson, he blasted the irate residents for first highlighting their concerns in the media, instead of seeking an audience with him.
" If one has an issue with an entity, then contact should be made with them. We were never afforded that opportunity and it is so unfortunate now that our names are drawn through the mud," Tulloch argued. "You block roads when people are not cooperative. It means you have exhausted all means and nobody pays you no mind and this is not the case. So I can't see why this action is taken. We are on the site every day and we are very accessible."
Stonebrook Vista is a gated community which boasts roughly 780 two-bedroom units in the Florence Hall area, which lies in close proximity to the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium.