JIS News

Story Highlights

  • KSAC is looking to increase revenue from signs and billboards in the 2014/15 financial year.
  • Currently, the KSAC has an allocation of $3.9 million for urban divisions and $4.4 million for rural divisions from the parochial revenue fund to do projects.
  • Mayor Brown Burke pointed out that the KSAC is not just focusing on revenues but is also seeking to improve the service it delivers.

The Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) is looking to increase revenue from signs and billboards in the 2014/15 financial year to assist with the beautification of parks and other public spaces.

Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Angela Brown Burke, made the announcement as she addressed scores of community leaders from across Kingston and St. Andrew at the Conference of Community Development Committees held in Half-Way-Tree on February 27.

“If we can earn enough then we would like to really be able to invite communities to put forward proposals about establishing the kind of public spaces that we need in Kingston and St. Andrew,” Mayor Brown Burke said.

She noted that currently, the KSAC has an allocation of $3.9 million for urban divisions and $4.4 million for rural divisions from the parochial revenue fund to do projects. This money is earned from property taxes and motor vehicle licences and is dedicated to road related activities such as repairs, fixing drains, bushing of verges, cleaning of gullies and beautification of community parks and spaces.

The Mayor said that the sums are inadequate but noted that it was “basically what we are able to offer based on what we are collecting for property taxes and motor vehicle licences.”

Outlining the financial constraints under which the KSAC is operating, the Mayor revealed that it has to earn $11 million each month for salaries.

“We want to share what we are doing so that you will be able to understand,” Mayor Brown Burke said.

She further noted that the KSAC is looking to cut back on the number of waivers being granted. “Many of you often come and seek waivers for several things and we are trying to see how we can cut out waivers because waivers rob us of revenue to do some other things,” she said.

Mayor Brown Burke pointed out that the KSAC is not just focusing on revenues but is also seeking to improve the service it delivers.

“We are focused on being a people-centered organisation where our clients, who are the residents and business operators of Kingston and St. Andrew, are the be all and end all of who we are, of what we do, and how we do what we do,” she said.

She informed that the Council has begun to develop a Citizens’ Charter, which is being finalised before being introduced to the public.

The Mayor also informed of physical changes at the KSAC, which includes the installation of a customer service desk with properly trained staff to handle queries, and a more customer friendly lobby area, which will allow for private interaction with clients.

“By the time we get to March, you should be able to see a big difference when you come to the KSAC. I want to challenge you to help us to monitor that and when we are falling short let us know,” the Mayor said.

The Conference of Community Development Committees was organized by the Social Development Commission (SDC), in partnership with the National Association of Parish Development Committees (NAPDEC), and National Integrity Action Limited (N.I.A) under the theme: ‘The Governance Framework: The Pathway to Local Economic Development.”

Thursday’s event was the final of a series held across the island to heighten participants’ knowledge of the importance of local governance and its processes; and the link between governance and economic development, as well as to increase public advocacy for timely passage of the revised local governance legislation.