Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, says phase two of the Black River Market is to begin soon with the objective of completing the project this year.
“We have just completed phase one of this fantastic project. It will benefit the farmers and citizens of St. Elizabeth, Black River, in particular. We will move quickly on to phase two and complete the project this year,” the Minister said.
He was speaking to reporters on Tuesday (January 8), following a walk-through of the market with personnel from the Ministry and members of the St. Elizabeth Parish Council.
“We have to ensure that whatever we do is in the benefit of the people. It is about time that our people have good surroundings to vend their products, and our citizens to purchase the goods and services that they provide here,” Mr. Arscott stated.
Ground was broken for the project in October 2011. The first phase, which was completed at a cost of some $31 million, involved raising the base of the structure by several feet to prevent habitual flooding and the building of a roof 30 feet higher to facilitate ventilation.
“A lot of engineering skills were put to work to ensure that we have a sturdy and lasting structure,” Mr. Arscott stated.
The second phase will include the building of stalls, putting in water and sanitary conveniences, and completing the meat market.
“It is quite a bit to be done, and we anticipate that in the next phase, we will bring the building to a point where it can be used even before it is completely finished. You will be in a better surrounding from where you are right now. Once it (market) is ready, we will get all the street vending and clear the streets so that we have a clean, orderly and decent town,” Minister Arscott said.
He said that the market, once completed, “will add to the features and the facilities of the great town of Black River.”