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Major boost for Clark’s Town, Trelawny

CLARK’S TOWN, Trelawny: The Clark’s Town Market will undergo a $20 million rehabilitation project as part of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development’s comprehensive programme to upgrade markets across the island.

“Our markets are in desperate need of attention, and it is the obligation of the Government to ensure that we provide the necessary resources,” said Portfolio Minister Honourable Desmond McKenzie.

“This year, the administration intends to set aside some $150 million to look at the problems of markets as no significant work has been undertaken over the last five years in our public markets.”

Minister McKenzie was speaking at the official opening ceremony for the Clark’s Town Transport Centre on Friday, April 6, 2018.

“We will be breaking ground so that by the end of this month, construction will begin to give you a brand-new market to complement the transportation centre.”

He also disclosed that a further $10 million has been committed to complete the new Falmouth Market which will facilitate the relocation of vendors from the Bend Down Market space.

The Minister told the gathering that a contract valued at $54 million has been signed to upgrade the Port Maria in St Mary and a further sum of $15 million will be released to install the awning at the Black River Market in St Elizabeth.

“The Trelawny Municipal Corporation is dedicated to the growth and development of the parish, through its operations, and today’s opening of this transport centre is testament to that,” said Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Collin J. Gager.

“Not only will this centre create a main space for vehicles, but it will also regulate the commute of passengers to and from this major town.”

Mayor Gager noted too that the Municipal Corporation will monitor the day to day operations of the Clark’s Town Transport Centre and it will be maintained through the small fees collected from the taxi and bus operators who use the facility. Both the Clark’s Town Market and Transport Centre are housed within the same location.

“I am happy that today we are seeing the good about transportation in this town, a major development for the parish of Trelawny.”

According to information gleaned from Www.Visitjamaica.Com, the owner of the Swandswick Estate, Mr. G.M. Clarke, donated a 30-acres of land on the edge of his estate to be used for the development of a “Free Village” following the emancipation of slaves in Jamaica in the mid-nineteenth century. It is said that the village, at the time, was structured in the traditional free village style, with a centrally located church and the houses of mainly sugar estate workers.

Minister Hands Over Houses In Clarendon

Two Clarendon families were presented with keys to their new homes that were constructed under the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development’s Municipal Social Assistance Programme (MSAP).

“The Ministry of Local Government and the direction of the Government of the day is to ensure that we improve the bread basket of those who are less fortunate and destitute in the society,” Portfolio Minister, Honourable Desmond McKenzie said during the official handover ceremony in Palmer’s Cross, Clarendon.

“We have to take care of the most vulnerable among us and too often there is a general feeling that once you reach a certain age, you must be disregarded and treated as if you are of no use.”

The recipients – Patsy Wheatley along with couple Earl and Gilder Fearon – who hail from the communities of Palmer’s Cross and Crofts Hill respectively, were presented with their keys on February 9, 2018.

The houses, which were constructed at a total cost of $3.4 million, consist of concrete structures with a general area for living dining and sleeping, bathroom and a kitchen space.

Minister McKenzie announced the MSAP model during his sectoral presentation in April last year with its objective to advance and empower the poor and vulnerable.

The MSAP is grounded on four components comprising social housing assistance (house repairs, minor improvements, disaster preparedness and response assistance); education and funeral grants; office/administration support for parish councillors and indigent housing assistance. The programme is administered through the local authorities.

Four parishes were identified for pilot projects under the indigent housing assistance that will see the construction of two houses in each locale. The first phase of the project was undertaken in Clarendon. The roll-out will continue in East Rural St. Andrew, St. Thomas and St. Catherine.

According to Minister McKenzie, the idea is to build 28 such houses across the island, with a goal of 60 houses by the end of 2019.

Ministry gives Kingsvale Police Station major facelift

KINGSVALE, HANOVER:The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development has effected $7 million in repairs to the Kingsvale Police Station in Western Hanover.

The rehabilitation was undertaken as an activity of Local Government Month and Community Month, celebrated annually during the month of November.

“Our theme for this year (‘Local Governance…The Pathway to Securing Better Communities’) speaks about securing safe and better communities, and we decided to enhance the theme by taking on a police station in rural Jamaica,” explained the Honourable Minister, Desmond McKenzie.

“This is a part of the community drive, the community aspect of Local Government Month and our community contribution to the security force.’

The improvements include the repair of the kitchen to include the installation of cupboards; painting; tiling of the bathroom; as well as the installation of a new stand-by generator, a 1,000-gallon water tank. The recreational area at the stationhouse was also given a facelift, and will be outfitted with a new sofa and television set.


“The state of the station left much to be desired. The conditions under which the officers had to work were really not conducive. We have lifted the standard and we intend to do that by giving the place a total facelift. So when you come back here in the next couple of months, you will not recognise this police station,” added Minister McKenzie.


He also disclosed that the access road to the police station, and the holding area for prisoners will be repaired as part of the overall project and is slated for completion this month.

During a workday at the facility on November 18, staff from the Ministry were joined by community members, officers from the Social Development Commission and the Hanover Municipal Corporation.

Commanding Officer for the Hanover Police Division, Superintendent Sharon Beeput, thanked the Minister for his vision and noted that the project will boost the morale of the personnel at the stationhouse.

“We are indeed grateful for this project, and to think that Kingsvale was chosen as the rural stations are often times forgotten, really means a lot to us.”

Ministry boosts NSWMA’s fleet -Eleven new compactor trucks handed over to agency

JAMAICA HOUSE, Kingston: In keeping with the commitment to strengthen the capacity and operations of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA); the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development handed over eleven new compactor garbage units to the agency.

This brings to 28 – the number of new units that have been handed over to improve the efficiency of the NSWMA over the last fiscal year.

“It is the intention of the Ministry in the New Year coming to place more money in the budget to secure new trucks. I gave a commitment that we are expecting that by the next year and a half we will be close to one hundred new trucks for the National Solid Waste Management Authority,” said Portfolio Minister, Honourable Desmond McKenzie during the official handover at Jamaica House on October 24, 2017.

“It is not something that is impossible because there are areas within the Ministry, outside of what we are going to be asking the Ministry of Finance for that will be able to help and assist to provide units for entity.”

Prime Minister Andrew Holness underscored that the Government is committed to using taxpayers’ dollars competently as it provides key resources for the public.
“We are using your tax dollars not just to bush the roads, not just to clear the curbs, channels and gullies, but we are also making capital investments in equipment that will improve service delivery,” he said.


The new units are distributed among the NSWMA’s collection regions, with the Southern Parks and Markets Waste Management Limited, Western Parks and Markets Waste Management Limited and Metropolitan Park and Markets Waste Management Limited receiving three units, while the North Eastern Parks and Markets will receive two units to assist with the collection and transportation of solid waste.

The new units are expected to significantly improve public solid waste disposal needs across the country, as the regions are tasked with maintaining assigned garbage collection schedules and to work towards general improvement in operational efficiencies.



Local Government and Community Development Minister Hon. Desmond McKenzie has signed a J$190 million contract with HDB Construction Limited, to facilitate a modern Administrative Building for the Portmore Municipal Corporation.

The construction of an official Municipal Building for Portmore, was one of the commitments given by the Minister in his contribution to the 2017/18 Sectoral Debate in April.

In his remarks at the contract signing ceremony held at the Ministry, Minister McKenzie noted that, apart from the need for improved security, as well as to end the payment of rental for its current premises, the Municipal Corporation “ought properly to be housed in its own space, which reflects its own identity, and that space must be a modern symbol of civic pride and enhanced service delivery.”

In noting the national impact of the recent rains, the Minister said “this is a wake-up call to all of us, about how and where we build structures. This new building will be a potent symbol of your authority, which you must exercise thoroughly and fairly. The decisions and actions that come from the elected representatives and the administrative officials, can silence all critics who believe that Local Government is irrelevant or inefficient.The quality of your stewardship will determine the kind of regard in which you are held, and by extension, the system of local government.”

The Local Government and Community Development Minister also announced that:

  • The new 22-thousand square foot facility (22,654 sq. ft.) will be a modern, stand-alone building, which will be located on 4 acres of Government land in the vicinity of the Braeton Parkway and Municipal Boulevard. This is near to the South St. Catherine Division Police Station (popularly called hundred-man police station).


  • The J$190 million cost of the project will be financed from the Equalization Fund, as well as the Municipal Corporation’s funds.


  • Construction is expected to last for twenty (20) months, beginning on June 1, and the intention is to execute the project in sections, so that the Corporation can move in and use the space during the period of the works. It is expected that the building will be completed by February, 2019.


  • The building will feature a ground floor, first floor and attic floor, and will have energy-efficient features such as solar street lighting and LED lighting. The overall development plan also includes landscaping, adequate car parking and water harvesting.


The contract signing was also addressed by Member of Parliament for Southern St. Catherine Mr. Fitz Jackson and His Worship the Mayor of Portmore Mr. Leon Thomas, who both described the development as a welcome and eagerly anticipated lift for the elected and administrative servants of the people of Portmore, as well as the residents of Portmore themselves.


Ground has been officially broken for the construction of a female Ward at the St. James infirmary in Albion, Montego Bay.

The St. James Municipal Council, which is spearheading the initiative, has already raised J$10 million of the projected $28 million to complete the works.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Denzil Thorpe, delivered a strident appeal to corporate Jamaica and philanthropic citizens for sponsorship to raise a portion of the remaining $18 million required to construct the ward. “It is a price worth paying for the benefit of completing a project that will emphasize the human face of Montego Bay and its environs. This ceremony is a great reminder that this is not just a tourism centre. There are great institutions here, and great individuals here, who are passionate about the welfare of human beings in their own right.”

In his address, Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris explained that over the last two years, women at the infirmary, which sits on a six-acre property, had to be housed in the chapel and storeroom due to the derelict state of the female ward which was built over a century ago.

Construction of the new ward is expected to be completed in 18 months.

On completion, the Ward will have 11 triple occupancy rooms; bathroom facilities, common areas, an examination room and a Reception Area.

The Infirmary currently accommodates 48 male and 12 female residents.


Work is to begin this year, to construct two new Fire Stations in Jamaica. This was announced by Local Government and Community Development Minister, Desmond McKenzie, in his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives. “I am pleased to announce that the Fire Brigade will begin the construction of two new fire stations in this financial year, to be located in Port Maria in St. Mary, and the second City, Montego Bay. In the next financial year, we intend to focus on building a new facility in Yallahs in St. Thomas. The commencement and completion of these projects is vital, as both the Port Maria and Montego Bay Fire Stations have been closed for over 7 years. It is also the case that the building at Port Royal Street, which now houses the Headquarters of the Brigade, is no longer fit for purpose. We are committed to constructing new Headquarters in another location. I have already mandated the Board, led by the Hon. Russell Hadeed, to proceed in this direction.” The Minister also announced that the work of the Fire Brigade will be bolstered by new personnel. “The Brigade recently graduated one hundred and five (105) new firefighters, and another one hundred (100) are to be trained in this financial year, beginning in August. When this cohort of fire-fighters commences service, the personnel shortage being experienced will be greatly reduced, with only 60 positions left to be filled, by the next financial year.” Mr. McKenzie also disclosed to the House, that in this financial year, the Fire Brigade will obtain new equipment including: ? 2 fire trucks (pumpers) ? 2 water tankers ? 50 full face respirators ? 90 sets of head-to-toe bunker gears ? 26 Breathing Apparatus sets ? 600 pairs of gloves and fire-fighting hoses. Under the Jamaica Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project, (DVRP) the Brigade will acquire 5 Water Tankers and 4 Pumpers. Additionally, the Agency will receive: ? 300 Bunker Gear Head-to-toe suits ? 300 Breathing Apparatus Sets ? 300 lengths of Fire Hoses and ? 5 Gas detection meters

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Minister of Local Government and Community, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, has announced new Market and Infirmary infrastructure projects for this financial year. In making his contribution to the Sectoral Debate today, the Minister announced that J$135 million will be spent to build new Wards at the Manchester and Portland Infirmaries. According to Minister McKenzie, Male and Female Wards at the Portland Infirmary will be designed to house 55 residents in a private home setting, which will also feature a Nurses’ Station and an Examination Room. “Grab bars and ramps will be placed in all appropriate locations, to ensure access to all mobility aids, while energy efficiency will be promoted by the use of solar power and LED Lighting. This facility will cost approximately J$80 million. With this state of the art facility, the optimizing of residents’ privacy and dignity will be assured. The Female Ward at the Manchester Infirmary will have the same features, will house 43 residents, and will be constructed at a cost of J$55 million. These funds will be sourced from Property Taxes and the Equalization Fund, and will not be a charge on the central Budget.” The Portfolio Minister also advised the House, that refurbishing works will begin at the Buff Bay Market in Portland, and completion works will continue at Clarks Town market in Trelawny. The Buff Bay Market is expected to provide accommodation for one hundred vendors, and feature among other things: Low and renewable energy technologies such as LED lights, solar panels and solar water heaters. Water harvesting systems, modern bathroom and showering facilities for vendors. There will be spaces for commercial offices or stores. This will make the market more attractive and suitable to other types of businesses and customers. Work will also be done at the Port Maria Market, at an estimated cost of J$40 million. This two-storey facility will be built at the location of the present market site, opposite the Parish Council building. It will house approximately seventy vendors on the ground floor, while the first floor will facilitate business spaces for entrepreneurs.


The people of St. Elizabeth are now being served from a new Municipal Building. The new J$20 million structure is the outcome of a project was initiated five years ago, in November 2010, and continued through the change in political administration in 2012.

According to Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Noel Arscott, the new building sends “a vital symbolic message that the Parish Council is renewing itself, and is under construction to emerge with greater vigour to serve the people of St. Elizabeth. It sends the signal that Local Government, especially in rural Jamaica, is no longer to be seen as operating from ramshackle, parochial, outpost-like structures, but is instead, modern, corporate-oriented and convenient to all who interact with it…this new building will be a modern, contemporary landmark, a symbol of pride for parishioners, and a physical beacon of the modern, reformed Local Government that we are working to implement throughout Jamaica.”

In charging Councillors to use the building to increase their contact with and service to the people of the parish, Mr. Arscott said the Local Government (Financing & Financial Management) Bill, which was recently passed by the House of Representatives, contains specific standards of fiscal and civic accountability, which include the requirement that every Municipal Council is to consult formally with the people in its jurisdiction about its plans and programmes at least once per year, before those plans are submitted to the Minister.

The occasion was also used to officially launch the St. Elizabeth Sustainable Development Plan, which was completed at a cost of approximately J$50 million.

The Plan is the outcome of four years of research, consultation and engagement between the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, the St. Elizabeth Parish Development Committee, other major stakeholder associations and citizens, regarding the future of this parish over the next twenty years, in keeping with the objectives of Vision 2030.

Community development, urban and rural renewal, crime reduction and the development of social capital are prominent issues addressed in the Plan. The next step is its implementation for the benefit of the parishioners.

Westmoreland Parish Council To Get New Building In Mid-2016

Local Government and Community Development Minister Hon. Noel Arscott today signed a J$74.8 million contract, for the construction of a new building for the Westmoreland Parish Council. The money will come from the Equalization Fund, and the 10-month-long works project is scheduled to begin at the end of July.

At a news briefing held to announce details of the initiative, Minister Arscott noted that the existing Parish Council building has outlived its practical usefulness.

“The structure that now houses the Council is 90 years old, having been constructed in 1925.  It was made from reinforced concrete and stone, with floors made from timber. The floors are now infested with termites, and the electrical fixtures are severely compromised as a result of overloading, despite numerous upgrading exercises over the years. In addition to all this, the building is shared with the Savanna-La-Mar Resident Magistrates’ Court that is located on the upper floor and occupies approximately half of the ground floor.”

According to the Minister, the replacement facility will be modern, and will utilize current energy-saving technology including LED lighting and solar panels. The new building will provide adequate space for staff and customers, and will also feature a Council Chamber that can accommodate 60 people.

The contractor responsible for this project is N.R. Diaram Construction Limited.