JIS News

Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, has voiced his displeasure about the way the landscaping at the proposed public park, at the Old Hospital site, Gloucester Avenue, Montego Bay, is being done.
Mr. Bartlett stated that he has instructed the administrators at the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the financiers of the project, not to pay over any more money to the contractors.
The Minister made the disclosure while addressing the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (MBCCI) quarterly luncheon, at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort, Montego Bay, Friday (August 27).
“I am totally unhappy with the way in which that particular project is going, and I have given instructions that we are not putting one more dollar in there until the landscaping is up to my standards,” he told the Montego Bay business operators, to loud applause.
In an interview with JIS News following the luncheon, Mr. Bartlett described the landscaping as “a disaster”. He explained that he has seen marl and stones in an area that should be properly covered with top soil and proper sub-soil to allow for lush growth.
The people of Montego Bay must get value for money, Mr. Bartlett said, explaining that the intention behind the establishment of the park was to rival Kingston’s Emancipation Park.
He expressed optimism, however, that the corrective work will be carried out in time, allowing for the opening of the park for the 2010/11 Winter Tourist Season which begins on December 15.
The work to transform the Old Hospital site into a natural recreational public space started in February and was scheduled for completion by the end of May. It is being funded by the TEF to the tune of $30 million, with a contract for approximately $12 .5 million going to the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), while Lawson’s Construction is responsible for the other $17 .5 million.
The NSWMA contract calls for that agency to create and beautify an open green space, with walkways, gazebos and seating on the compound, which should complement Lawson’s Construction’s provision of administrative and sanitary amenities, electrical supplies and perimeter fencing.
The Urban Development Corporation (UDC), the owners of the park, is to provide project management services for the project.

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