MoBay mayor tar­gets waste dump­ing and il­le­gal vend­ing

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Christo­pher Thomas Gleaner Writer christo­pher.thomas@glean­erjm.com

WEST­ERN BUREAU: MON­TEGO BAY Mayor Glen­don Har­ris has vowed to es­tab­lish a hard line against the peren­nial prob­lems of il­le­gal street vend­ing and im­proper waste dis­posal in the west­ern city.

“We need to bring law and or­der to the city, so if you are not sup­posed to vend at a cer­tain place, then you are not sup­posed to vend there, and if you are not sup­posed to put your garbage there, you can­not put your garbage there,” said Har­ris, who is also chair­man of the St James Parish Coun­cil, “... or else you are go­ing to be slapped with a charge and you are go­ing to face the court.”

Over the past five years, the parish coun­cil has tried nu­mer­ous strate­gies in its bid to re­lo­cate ven­dors to the Peo­ple’s Ar­cade and the Charles Gor­don Mar­ket as a means of re­duc­ing conges­tion in down­town Mon­tego Bay, but to no avail.

IM­PROPER WASTE DIS­POSAL

In fact, the sit­u­a­tion has been fur­ther ex­ac­er­bated by the on­go­ing prob­lem of im­proper waste dis­posal, which of­ten re­sults in drains be­ing clogged dur­ing pe­ri­ods of rain.

“If we go all out to look out for the ven­dors and des­ig­nate streets to them, it must be un­der con­di­tions, and if they can­not keep those con­di­tions and keep their end of the bar­gain, then you will au­to­mat­i­cally have to end the re­la­tion­ship,” said Har­ris.

“If you no­tice those streets, they be­come bed­rooms, bath­rooms, and per­ma­nent places for some of the ven­dors, and we can­not tol­er­ate that.”

On the is­sue of im­proper garbage dis­posal, Har­ris said it was a cul­ture that the parish coun­cil was try­ing to change but is fac­ing re­sis­tance from those in­volved in the prac­tice.

Con­cern­ing the sanc­tions for both il­le­gal vend­ing and im­proper waste dis­posal, Har­ris said ef­forts are be­ing made to as­sign stiffer penal­ties.

“The min­is­ter of lo­cal gov­ern­ment has an­nounced that he is mov­ing to­wards in­creas­ing the fines for the of­fence of im­proper dis­posal, so that they will be de­ter­rents, be­cause one day there was rain­fall, and garbage blocked the drains out at Fairview, and who got the blame? It was us,” said Har­ris, in ref­er­ence to the flood­ing at the Fairview Shop­ping Cen­tre in Au­gust.

HAR­RIS

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