JIS News

A new municipal building is to be constructed for the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, in Black River.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, who broke ground for the new complex on November 10, said the new building will help the Councillors to provide quality service to the residents of the parish, and to accommodate members of the Parish Development Committee (PDC) during their meetings.
“The Councillors need private space to meet with citizens, and right now, if they are to meet they have to ‘hitch up’ somewhere, or borrow somebody’s office. If the PDC is to meet, there is going to be a problem,” the Minister said.
Mayor of Black River, Councillor Jeremy Palmer said it was the first time the Council was constructing a building in many years, and that it will allow the general public to view the work of Councillors. “In 100 years, it is the first new building going up for the Parish Council. We want to put a new face on Black River, it needs renewal and we want the renewal to come from the Parish Council,” the Mayor said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, told the audience that the local authority can take credit for important local development, and must be supported with capacity expansion.
“Councillors are always in touch with Members of Parliament, in terms of community challenges. There is an important function that they play, and we must value it. As an MP, I could not work without Councillors. Black River/St. Elizabeth has emerged as a very important stop for local and overseas tourists, it has over 20 natural attractions, and those features that we have here are features that should be preserved, and the local authority is fundamental to that,” Minister Tufton said.
The new building will be constructed at a cost of $12 million, and the old building will be used as a museum for the parish, and be part of the heritage offerings to attract visitors.

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