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Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and Member of Parliament for South West St. Elizabeth, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton on Friday (November 20) unveiled plans for the re-development of the Black River Market.
In presenting the building plans for the project, estimated to cost $65 million to $75 million, to the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, Dr. Tufton noted that the market is located in the largest commercial area in the parish and its re-development will benefit the 300 vendors and those who make their purchases at the facility.
“I made a commitment to restructure the (commercial) area, starting with the market. We set out to raise funds and to date I have committed from my Constituency Development Fund (CDF), $13 million”, Dr. Tufton said.
“I have gotten a commitment from the (State) Minister in charge of Local Government, Robert Montague for $5 million and have secured …another $5 million,” he added.
He said that the project will be done in stages and “I am committed to complete the process within a two-year period. The first phase will be completed quickly to ease the dislocation that will occur once construction starts.”
Dr. Tufton said that once the project is completed, a proper management structure will be put in place to ensure that vending is carried out in an orderly manner.
“And, we will have to be unified in that approach otherwise we run the risk as in other areas where the beautiful structure is in place and the people vend on the road. It will be self-defeating if we did that. If we succeed, it will bring significant order and structure in the town,” he stated.

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