Mayor of Portmore, George Lee, says the much anticipated hospital for the Municipality will become a reality this year. He said that the ground-breaking for the hospital will be "sometime this year," noting that the project "will change the face of Portmore and create jobs for the people."
The Mayor was speaking at a community forum on July 12, at the Portmore Heart Academy, where he unveiled plans for the Municipality's Jamaica 50 celebrations as well as to reflect on the first 100 days in office.
Mr. Lee was positive in his outlook for the municipality, and cited several wide-ranging projects, including the Port Authority of Jamaica's proposed expansion of facilities at Fort Augusta, that are slated to begin soon and will impact the community.
The Mayor said he has been advised by the Factories Corporation of Jamaica that the Information Technology (IT) centre at Naggo's Head will be expanded before year end, thereby creating opportunities for more jobs.
Reflecting on the Council's first 100 days in office, the Mayor said he is very pleased with the progress made and the record of achievement. Above all, he said, "I believe we have restored the credibility and respect of the council."
He listed several accomplishments, including a major drain cleaning programme that has benefitted communities, such as Waterford, Portsmouth, Bridgeport and beyond. This has helped to reduce mosquitoes in the areas. The programme is set to continue in other areas of Portmore, he promised.
The Mayor revealed that the National Works Agency (NWA) is currently fixing major roadways in Portmore, and that beginning this month, the Council will also be undertaking road repairs on minor roads.
Mayor Lee also reported progress in tackling the longstanding sewage problem. He said the National Water Commission has informed him that tender notices have gone out to solicit bids to start the transfer of sewage from Portmore to the Soapberry plant. The tender will close on August 18 and the process is expected to take 18 months to complete.
"As Mayor of Portmore, and with the team behind us, we are going to take this municipality forward. We are going to create economic opportunities, we are going to look about the environment, and the infrastructure, and one day we want to see Portmore as the greatest community in the English speaking Caribbean and beyond," he said.
The Mayor received support from Members of Parliament, Fitz Jackson, Colin Fagan and Arnaldo Brown, all of whom appealed for greater involvement from the citizens in the affairs of the community.
Mr. Brown, who is also State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, also updated the community on the construction of the Cedar Grove High School in his constituency, at a cost of $660 million.
The project, he said, is an investment and has provided jobs for persons in the immediate environs. He said it will also open up opportunities for others to benefit as service providers.
This is the first high school to be built in this the 50th year of independence and the State Minister said he has made recommendation that the facility be one of the monuments to the 50th anniversary.