After being without their market for more than three years, residents of Ewarton and its environs, in St. Catherine, now have a renovated facility to conduct their business.
The market, which had fallen into disrepair, was recently refurbished at a cost of $4.35 million from an allocation from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) of Member of Parliament for North West St. Catherine, where the facility is located, Robert Pickersgill.
The market, which was refurbished by Affordable Engineering Contractors Limited in May Pen, Clarendon, was officially handed over by the company’s Managing Director, Rudolph Bruce, to Deputy Superintendent of Roads and Works at the
St. Catherine Parish Council, Doyen Johnson, during a brief ceremony at the facility, today (August 5).
Deputy Superintendent of Roads and Works at the St. Catherine Parish Council, Doyen Johnson (right), receives the keys to the Ewarton market, in St. Catherine, from Managing Director of Affordable Engineering Building Contractors Limited, Rudolph Bruce, in a symbolic handing over of the refurbished facility, during a brief ceremony, today (August 5). The facility was refurbished by Affordable Engineering, at a cost of $4.35 million taken from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Regional Project Manager at the CDF Programme Management Unit, Cavell Francis-Rhiney, explained that work on the market entailed: re-roofing the facility’s main building; rehabilitation of the ticket office and bathroom facilities, inclusive of grill work, in addition to repairs to the main gate; and the connection of water and electricity. The St. Catherine Parish Council was the implementing agency.
Mrs. Francis-Rhiney informed that the work, which started in May, was completed within the two month timeline and was satisfactorily executed.
Addressing the ceremony, Director of the CDF Programme Management Unit, Moveta Monroe, noted that the refurbished market would enable farmers from Ewarton, and its environs to “sell their goods in a very comfortable environment.”
In his remarks, Mr. Pickersgill said that the state of the previous structure “was really a disgrace for a town as old and as popular as Ewarton.”
Noting that the Linstead market was contiguous to Ewarton, Mr. Pickersgill said that North West St. Catherine was an agricultural constituency, “and I am sure that we will have enough vendors to make this market viable.”
Meanwhile, several vendors and residents of Ewarton have welcomed the re-opening of the market. Vendor, Mary Barrett, was among those voicing gratitude.
“I think the re-opening of the market is really a good thing for Ewarton. For a long time we really didn’t have a market, and I appreciate it, and a lot of people will really appreciate it. Instead of people going to Linstead, they will just stop by us,” she said.
The feedback was equally positive from resident, Shortman. “Yea, is a good move still. This market used to run before, but it crumble, and it start up back. We only hope that the maintenance (of it) will be strong. We need the support to keep the market up and running,” he said.
Fellow resident, Richie, was also pleased that the facility has been re-opened. “I appreciate it, because is a long time the town need the market, because is a long time it close down. I just hope that the community people will support it, and make it work, because the nearest market we have is Linstead, and everything we want, is Linstead we have to go and get it. So, if we support it good, it will provide more income for everyone, and take some of the stress off persons having to go to Linstead,” he said.