Negril Let’s Talk!
On Thursday, November 8, 2018 the Negril Let’s Talk! Meeting with The Minister of Local Government and Community Development Hon. Desmond McKenzie, participating Government Agencies and Negril Stakeholders/Citizens was held at the Negril Community Centre to Discuss & Address Issues Affecting Negril.
Greetings were offered by His Worship the Major, Bertel Moore Chairman – Hanover Municipal Corporation, His Worship the Mayor, Sheridan Samuels Chairman – Hanover Municipal Corporation. Remarks were made by Mr. Daniel Grizzle President – Negril Chamber of Commerce, and Mr. Fredrick Moe Negril & Green Island Area Local Planning Authority. Presentations were made by Mr. Garnet Edmondson – National Solid Waste Management Authority, Ms. Sherona Campbell & Mr. Clive Edwards – Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Mr. Richard Williams – National Water Commission, National Environment and Planning Agency, and Ms. Lisa Golding – Urban Development Corporation.
The Main Address was by the Honourable Desmond McKenzie, CD, MP, J.P. Minister of Local Government & Community Development. After his address, the Minister listened to questions by Negril Stakeholders/Citizens and answered their questions and addressed their concerns. During the Minister’s address he spoke about the following topics taken from a survey by SDC were 27 Negril issues needing attention were identified. Below is a summary of the topics discussed.
- Local authorities have responsibility for street lights in Jamaica. They are the ones to make application for installation of new street lights, and for the reporting of malfunctions in street lights.
- There are over 25 thousand kilometer of roads in Jamaica. Local authorities are responsible for the maintenance of 22 thousand kilometers of these roads.
- Property taxes cover street lights, take responsibility for garage collections and recreational beautification. Local authorities have the resources to provide these services. Maybe not all the resources they wish, but they have them.
- As mentioned above, a survey was done by SDC to identify the challenges that are affecting Negril and the surrounding area. Local roads, garbage collection, street people, absence of an ambulance, and absence of a proper market were on the list of 27 items identified.
- It is the local authorities, the Hanover - Westmoreland Municipal Corporations, that carry responsibility for the bulk of the 27 items identified.
- The badly needed Negril Market is in the new Jamaican budget cycle. The Ministry of Local Government Minister McKenzie stated, "I am pleased to announce tonight in Negril and this is not a promise, this a commitment that in the new budget year provision will be made in the new budget year for 19-20 for the construction of the long-awaited market for the town of Negril”.
- Anther prominent Issue raised in the survey taken was Street Lights. Jamaica has been in debt to JPS for over 6 billion dollars. Minister McKenzie announce that currently the Government is virtually debt free with JPS. The debt has been fully paid. The Government is committed to pay JPS monthly billings that are incurred by Jamaica for street lights on time. Since the bill has been paid, JPS is committed to, and has begun to fix about 12,000 broken street lights and to install new energy efficient street lights.
- Garbage Collection has been a major issue in Negril and throughout Jamaica. There is and has been a severe shortage of garbage trucks in Jamaica. Since 2016 the Government provided 33 brand new garbage trucks in the first two years of the JLP Administration. There will be 12 more trucks added by the end of the 2018 calendar year. The Government is looking to add an additional 100 garbage trucks.
- Funding will be provided to aid persons living on the streets. A 15 million-dollar Lucea dropping center facility is opening shortly that will provide aid for persons living on the street, giving them a place to go, change their clothes and get medical attention
- Negril and the Parish of Westmoreland will benefit from two upgrading projects worth 61 million dollars [living quarters & male ward] at the medical facilities in Savanna-la-mar. This will be of great benefit for those that rely on Government medical services.
- Minister McKenzie said that Negril is a special place and the Negril area was developed by the Honourable Edward Seaga. Negril is special because of its location. One of the issues raised and discussed with Parliament was the question of Negril becoming its own municipality. The Prime Minister is interested in seeing how the Negril municipality can happen. A committee has been established to gather input from Negril Stakeholders/Citizens so that their views are heard and they have a say in the future of Negril.
- There are serious issues that need to be address in Negril such as illegal building and the garbage that is being thrown on the road way. These are issues than need to be address since they threaten and spoil the beauty of the Negril.
- Minister McKenzie stated that "this Administration is committed in working with the people of Negril and that is why I am here tonight. I want to hear from you as to some of the things you would like see happen".
You can view a video of the Main Address by The Honourable Desmond McKenzie, CD, MP, J.P. Minister of Local Government & Community Development McKenzie's at the YouTube.com Video #2 link below:
Here are links to three YouTube.com videos of Negril Let's Talk!:
YouTube.com Video #1: https://youtu.be/ruDe6R7CDS4
YouTube.com Video #2: https://youtu.be/MQ0GljkmXww
YouTube.com Video Slideshow: https://youtu.be/iOPsmaQBIIw
By the way, you can view two YouTube.com Videos of Minister McKenzie's last visit to Negril in August at the links below.
Hon. Minister Desmond McKenzie & Negril Chamber of Commerce Bus Tour of Negril
Hon. Minister Desmond McKenzie, Negril Chamber of Commerce & Negril Stakeholders Meeting @ Rayon Hotel
NOTE: This Jamaican Business Directory Article, the two YouTube.com Negril Let’s Talk! Town Hall Meeting Videos and the Negril Let’s Talk YouTube.com slideshow was produced by Barry J. Hough Sr. [www.barryjhoughsr.com] - Photojournalist – Publisher of the Negril Travel Guide.com [www.negriltravelguide.com], Jamaican Travel Guides [www.jamaicantravelguides.com] and Jamaican Business Directory [www.jamaicanbusinessdirectory.com].