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Minister of Information and Development, Donald Buchanan, has said that the islandwide beautification programme would be strengthened, with specific attention given to the resort towns of Negril, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Falmouth and Port Antonio.
Speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing held yesterday (Jan. 29) at Jamaica House, Mr. Buchanan noted that the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and Local Government and Environment Ministry would be collaborating in the effort with “Major Colonel John Prescod to have responsibility in this particular field”.
In Negril, he said, plans were being finalized for the implementation of a beautification programme at a cost $5.2 million, with work to commence in the second week of February. This project would complement a maintenance programme started by TPDCo last November, which has provided employment for some 21 persons. “The programme is ongoing and.entails the cutting of verges and median strips and spans the area from the Negril town centre to Norman Manley Boulevard, Negril west end and the cleaning of Non-Pariel Park,” Mr. Buchanan informed.
Turning to Montego Bay, the Minister told journalists that the Tourism Enhancement Fund has approved $18.5 million to carry out beautification works on Gloucester Avenue, Sunset Boulevard, Howard Cooke Boulevard, Freeport, Alice Eldemire Street, St. James Street and Queens Drive. The programme will also entail the installation of garbage receptacles throughout the city.
Meanwhile, Mr. Buchanan informed that a maintenance programme was in operation along Milford Road and Dacoata Drive in Ocho Rios, while a $21 million beautification programme would commence in February.
As for Port Antonio, the Information Minister said that plans were being finalized to upgrade the Neville Antonio Park and the initiative was aimed at repositioning the park as the primer public green space in Port Antonio.
The scope of works, he noted, would include re-fencing and repositioning of the park entrances; landscaping; renovation of stage/performing area; upgrading of lighting; construction of gazebos and additional seating; construction of restroom facilities; and the development of a storyboard on Dr. Neville Antonio.
The preliminary cost of this project is some $10 million and of this amount, $1.5 million will be provided through the Tourism Enhancement Fund.
Already, the town is benefiting from work to upgrade the sanitary conveniences at Foreshore Road, which commenced in December. The project includes the re-roofing and the upgrading of internal fixtures at an estimated cost of $1.2 million. The work is being carried out in collaboration with the Portland Parish Council, which contributed $254,815 to the project.
Turning to Falmouth, Minister Buchanan noted that a $10 million beautification programme would begin in the first week of February to enhance the three entrances to the town.
“The work will entail the maintenance of verges and median strips from Glistening Waters into the town along the Salt Marsh area into Falmouth and from the Wakefield entrance. Works have also commenced at Water Square in Falmouth. This entails paving around the fountain,” he informed.