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JIS News

Mayor of the Municipality of Portmore, in St. Catherine, Keith Hinds, is calling for the operators of the Portmore leg of Highway 2000 to place five per cent of all monthly gains at the toll into a special fund, which would go towards rehabilitating the roadways in the community.
The Mayor proposes that the fund be called the Portmore Road Development Fund, emphasising that it is high time that the operators of the roadway show their appreciation to the people of Portmore.
The Portmore leg of Highway 2000, which was officially opened on July 15, 2006, is operated by Jamaica Infrastructure Operators Limited (JIO).
Speaking with JIS News in an interview, Mayor Hinds said figures show that approximately 50,000 cars travel between the Spanish Town and Portmore leg of the roadway on a daily basis. “Approximately more than two thirds come directly out of Portmore. So, what we’re saying is look at the benefits you’re receiving from Portmore and give back something that at least the citizens can feel comfortable with,” he said.
“In other jurisdictions when a toll road interfaces with a community the way this one interfaces with Portmore, the operators understand that the onus is on them to come to the local authority to see how they can provide assistance for the community that they are benefiting from so greatly,” he argued.
The Mayor said he has been meeting with representatives from the company which manages the roadway, to consider his proposal, but so far they have rejected it.
Mr. Hinds said another suggestion he has put forward is the construction of a recreational park on the empty lot across from the Portmore Mall, similar to the Emancipation Park in New Kingston. “Those talks are preliminary and I have to be pursuing them, but the truth of the matter is that I believe that we should have some kind of redress from the operators for Portmore,” he said.
He is also proposing that the operators look at asphalting the school compounds of a number of the primary schools in Portmore, where dust is a constant nuisance to students. “They could also look at developing beautiful corridors along the roadways in Portmore.getting rid of the shrubs and bushes along the roadways and planting and maintaining beautiful plants and palms,” the Mayor said.
Mr. Hinds said he would continue to make representation to the toll operators to give back to the community of Portmore.