Bud­get be­ing put to­gether for the ren­o­va­tion of May Pen Ceme­tery

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - – JIS

THE SPECIAL mul­ti­stake­holder com­mit­tee that is spear­head­ing the ren­o­va­tion of the May Pen Ceme­tery in Kingston is in the process of fi­nal­is­ing the bud­get and iden­ti­fy­ing fund­ing for the project’s im­ple­men­ta­tion.

The com­mit­tee, which was ap­pointed by Lo­cal Govern­ment and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Des­mond McKen­zie, is chaired by Kingston and St. An­drew (KSAC) Town Clerk Robert Hill.

Hill tells JIS News that a pre­lim­i­nary es­ti­mate “con­ser­va­tively” puts the project’s im­ple­men­ta­tion at a cost of $400 mil­lion.

He says that sev­eral fund­ing sources, which were ex­plored and pro­posed by McKen­zie, were be­ing con­sid­ered by the com­mit­tee as it moves to fi­nalise these ar­range­ments.

They in­clude the Tourism Prod­uct De­vel­op­ment Com­pany; the Tourism En­hance­ment Fund; and the Cul­ture, Health, Arts, Sport and Ed­u­ca­tion Fund, as well as in­ter­na­tional fund­ing part­ners.

Hill said that the project’s scope and time­line have been es­tab­lished, not­ing that im­ple­men­ta­tion is ex­pected to be un­der­taken in three phases over an 18-month pe­riod.

RE­BUILD­ING AND RE­CON­STRUC­TION

Ac­tiv­i­ties slated to be car­ried out in­clude land­scap­ing, re­build­ing and re­con­struc­tion of Dur­ing a tour ear­lier this year, Lo­cal Govern­ment and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Des­mond McKen­zie (sec­ond left) points to a grave in the May Pen Ceme­tery in Kingston that was des­e­crated by van­dals.

the ac­cess road and other sup­port­ing in­fra­struc­ture, restora­tion of the ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices and des­e­crated graves, with the lat­ter to be un­der­taken in tan­dem with the Kingston and St An­drew Health Depart­ment, and stream­lin­ing of the ceme­tery’s records man­age­ment sys­tem to fa­cil­i­tate ac­cu­rate doc­u­men­ta­tion of buri­als.

Hill says ad­di­tional fea­tures be­ing con­sid­ered in­clude con­struc­tion of a colum­bar­ium to fa­cil­i­tate ad­di­tional buri­als when the ceme­tery’s land space has been used up, and re­vis­it­ing the over­all man­ner in which in­ter­ments are done.

The town clerk ex­plains that con­sid­er­a­tion is be­ing given to re­strict­ing the erec­tion of

elab­o­rate head­stones and mau­soleums, but in­stead, re­sort­ing to straight buri­als.

This would en­tail dou­ble or triple plots, usu­ally com­pris­ing vaults that can ac­com­mo­date two or more cas­kets po­si­tioned on top of each other with av­er­age-size head­stones, as ob­tains in some pri­vately op­er­ated ceme­ter­ies.

“This would fa­cil­i­tate bet­ter

eco­nomic use of the land and en­sure that we do so re­spon­si­bly and, of course, with dig­nity and re­spect for the dead,” Hill says.

He adds that con­sid­er­a­tion is also be­ing given to con­struct­ing a gazebo to serve as an area for quiet time by per­sons whose loved ones are buried in the ceme­tery.

CON­TRIB­UTED

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