The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development will undertake the repairs to the fire-ravaged Musgrave Market in Port Antonio.
“The repairs, management and operations of the Musgrave Market is the sole prerogative of the Portland Municipal Corporation and the Ministry of Local Government,” said Portfolio Minister, Honourable Desmond McKenzie during a tour of the facility on June 16.
“I want to commend the Member of Parliament (Ann-Marie Vaz of East Portland) for the effort that she has made in going out there and raising funds to assist the vendors. She must be commended for it.”
The Minister used the opportunity to reemphasize that there are no plans to divest the facility, which is operated by the Portland Municipal Corporation.
“I welcome any private individual who wants to come and help with the restoration of the market. But if they are coming, they have to come through the process that exists which is the municipality and the Ministry of Local Government.”
The Musgrave Market was destroyed on May 28 in a blaze that left some 200 registered vendors displaced and affected several nearby businesses. The Ministry has already released $10 million to begin the clean-up exercise of the market.
“I must say that I am pleased with the effort made by the municipality to under the clean-up exercise. The renovation work will be done on a professional basis and not on a political basis,” Minister McKenzie stressed.
He also mentioned that the renovation will be undertaken following the completion of the designs and procurement processes.
“We are looking at a number of designs and once we have agreed on that there is the procurement part of it. We have to ensure that whatever is done is done in a transparent way. The process will take some time…the money is in the Ministry to undertake the repairs to the Musgrave Market.”
To date, Members of Parliament Daryl and Ann-Marie Vaz have launched a special fund from which each vendor received a $100,000 grant.