MONTEGO BAY – The Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, says that construction of the new Falmouth Police Station will recommence next month with the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), through its Engineering Corps, in charge of the project.
Mr. Golding noted that the project, which started in 2005 and should have taken one year to be completed, “started, stopped and looked as if it was trying to become part of the historic relic of Falmouth”.
“We had all sorts of contractual problems, we had to terminate the contract and we had to get our hands on things. I am pleased today to indicate that I have made arrangements for the Jamaica Defence Force, through its Engineering Corps, to take over that project and to complete it,” the Prime Minister said.
He made this announcement as he addressed the opening ceremony for the official opening of the new Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier in Trelawny, on Tuesday March 22.
The opening ceremony coincided with the inaugural visit of the largest cruise ship in the world, Oasis of the Seas, to the new Falmouth Pier with some 8,000 passengers and crew members on board.
The Prime Minister said that it was critical to the overall development of the town of Falmouth, and parish of Trelawny, that the police station is completed now.
“The Chief of Defence Staff is here, and I hope that I am authorized by you, Sir, to say that the Jamaica Defence Force’s Engineering Corps will be on site to resume work on that project in April, and to see to it that the project is completed,” Mr. Golding said.
Mr. Golding said that while “ships will come and ships will go”, how often they come and how many come will depend on how the visitors are treated.
“It is not Royal Caribbean (cruise line) that determines this, but the passengers… and the feeling that inspires them to come back again and again. When the passengers come, let us resolve to treat them well,” he urged.
He also encouraged all Jamaicans to do their part, individually and collectively, to make the dream a lifetime reality and experience that will set Falmouth apart, “and bring a new day for the people of this fabulous part of Jamaica”.
Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, said that the occasion was a ‘momentous’ one, where history was brought to the doorsteps of residents of Falmouth and surrounding communities.
“This is unprecedented in that, never before, anywhere in the northern Caribbean, have we seen 8,000 passengers and crew disembarking from the same ship on any port, and that's historic for us here in Falmouth,” the Minister said.
The contract for the construction of the Falmouth police station was signed in January 2005 by then national security minister Dr Peter Phillips, and should have been completed in 12 months, at a cost of $220 million. Over $160 million has been spent on the project since, but it needs over $200 million more for completion.
By GLENIS ROSE