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  • Hon. Noel Arscott, says discussions are ongoing with the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) regarding outstanding payments, and defective or malfunctioning streetlights, among other things.
  • “There are some issues with the JPS…some lights are not working, many sections of the Corporate Area are in total darkness, and they send us a flat rate that we pay every month whether the lights work or not.
  • Minister Arscott said the Government owes the JPS just under $2 billion, and the administration is committed to paying its electricity bills.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, says discussions are ongoing with the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) regarding outstanding payments, and defective or malfunctioning streetlights, among other things. “There are some issues with the JPS…some lights are not working, many sections of the Corporate Area are in total darkness, and they send us a flat rate that we pay every month whether the lights work or not. “Those are some of the thorny issues we have been working to resolve…in fact, we have in-house figures to say that somewhere in the region of 20 per cent of the lights are not working,” he said. He was responding to a question at Wednesday’s (July 9) Jamaica House press briefing, regarding outstanding payments to the light and power company. Minister Arscott said the Government owes the JPS just under $2 billion, and the administration is committed to paying its electricity bills. He is again appealing to Jamaicans to pay their property taxes to enable the Government to provide the essential services required by citizens. In the meantime, Mr. Arscott informed that a programme is currently underway to retrofit street lights with LED, which he said, will result in up to 60 per cent savings for the Government. “So, a lot of what we do now really hinges on the success and the speed in which we implement that,” he said, noting that this forms part of measures to cut the Government’s high electricity bill.

In addition to the payment of streetlights, property taxes also go towards solid waste collection and disposal;  general civic improvement; maintenance of public parks and gardens; some aspects of the local authorities’ administration; and rehabilitation of the parochial road network.