JIS News

There is a commitment of $100 million by the Government this year, to continue the programme of reclamation of mined out lands in St. Ann.
This was stated by Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding at a Town Hall meeting, held yesterday (July 15) at the Ocho Rios High School, in the parish.
The Prime Minister was responding to a query from St. Ann resident, Delroy Grant, about what plans are being put in place to assist in the development of communities that have been severely affected by the downturn in the bauxite industry.
Mr. Golding pointed out that efforts were also being supported by some expenditure through the Bauxite Community Development Programme.
“I ask you to bear in mind that because that programme is funded from the revenues of the bauxite industry, there is a sharp downturn in the inflows into the fund, which will affect the level of expenditure that we will have to undertake,” he said.
He informed that discussions were ongoing between the Government and two aluminum companies – Metals from China and Century from the United States of America – both of which had formed a joint venture to establish a new alumina refinery at Lydford in the parish.
“It will be the most modern plant in the Caribbean, if not the whole Latin American region. They (Metals and Century) have assured me that even though the planning has slowed down, because of the global recession, the commitment is still there, so that provides some hope in terms of future development in the area,” the Prime Minister said.
A resident of Colegate in the parish, Nadine Thompson, complained that a particular cellular phone company had erected a tower in her community and that the structure was a major problem, as it would bellow a humming sound at nights.
“As far as we know, the Parish Council has the matter in court, because these people did not get any permission to erect the tower,” Miss Thompson told the Prime Minister, stressing that members of the community were not pleased that a cell tower was erected in their area.
In response, Prime Minister Golding said that he was aware of the problem regarding that particular company erecting towers without approval, and informed that plans were being made to address the matter.
“We are putting in place a policy where companies must share towers, even if it is separate companies. They cannot have cell tower sites dotting the whole landscape. They must get together,” Mr. Golding said, informing that the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) would be empowered to require companies to share tower sites.
The Town Hall Meeting was the fourth in the series of monthly meetings designed to allow the Prime Minister to outline the 2009/10 Budget, and for citizens to share their concerns and talk directly to the Prime Minister. Meetings have already been held in Mandeville, Manchester; Portmore, St. Catherine; and Montego Bay, St. James.

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