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Port Maria to get ‘Paint The City’ facelift

PORT MARIA, St. Mary: The town of Port Maria is set to receive a $10 million makeover under the ‘Paint The City/Town’ initiative.

“Port Maria will benefit from the Government’s ‘Paint The Town’ programme through which we will be spending some $10 million to beautify the town over the next couple of months,” announced Honourable Desmond McKenzie, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development.

He was speaking at a special meeting with business operators and residents at the Horace Clarke Transportation Centre in Port Maria on February 17.

The Minister also told the gathering that he has asked a working team to explore the prospects of a warning system for the rural township.

“I have asked the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management to work with the other agencies in putting in a flood warning system and an alarm system in the town of Port Maria. I think that is long overdue, because at least it would give the residents an idea of what is happening,” he explained.

“It has worked in Old Harbour in St Catherine. At Old Harbour Bay, we have an early warning system that helps the residents to be on alert for possible flooding,” added McKenzie.

The parish of St. Mary, and in particular the town of Port Maria, was left flooded with extensive damage to a number of homes and businesses following heavy rains on February 1.

The St. Mary Municipal Corporation is also undertaking mopping up exercises to remove excess debris and clear blocked drains in and around the parish capital.

Minister McKenzie stated as well that river training and other preventative measures are being assessed to help reduce the chances of flooding in Port Maria.

“The National Works Agency is working with the St Mary Municipal Corporation to look at the whole question of river training and all the things that are going to be required to bring some semblance of relief to the area.”