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Story Highlights

  • A new building is to be constructed to house the St. Thomas Parish Council at a cost of approximately $250 million.
  • The proposed two-storey structure, to be built on three acres of land adjoining the St. Thomas Infirmary in Morant Bay, will replace the office complex currently being used, which is situated in the town’s commercial distric
  • The facility, which has reportedly fallen into disrepair, accommodates the 10 sitting councillors, inclusive of Mayor, Ludlow Mathison, and Deputy Mayor, Edwin Marr, and approximately 126 staff members.

A new building is to be constructed to house the St. Thomas Parish Council at a cost of approximately $250 million.

Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Noel Arscott, broke ground for the project on Friday (November 2), on which work is scheduled to start soon.

The proposed two-storey structure, to be built on three acres of land adjoining the St. Thomas Infirmary in Morant Bay, will replace the office complex currently being used, which is situated in the town’s commercial district.

The facility, which has reportedly fallen into disrepair, accommodates the 10 sitting councillors, inclusive of Mayor, Ludlow Mathison, and Deputy Mayor, Edwin Marr, and approximately 126 staff members.

Speaking at the groundbreaking, Mr. Arscott commended the councilors and staff for persevering and continuing to work under less than ideal conditions “to deliver the service that you have for the people.”

He said the proposed construction seeks to provide a comfortable and modern working environment.  “The…new building will be approximately just over 2,000 sq. metres of new office space, and we will have you on two levels…the ground floor, 1150 sq. metres, and the upper floor, just under 1000 sq. metres,” he outlined.

The St. Thomas Parish Council is one of three municipal authorities shortlisted by the Ministry to benefit from newly built offices over the short to medium term.

The others are the Westmoreland Parish Council at an estimated cost of $250 million; and the Portmore Municipal Council in St. Catherine.

Speaking with JIS News, Mr. Arscott said the Ministry is moving to “fast-track” the St. Thomas Parish Council project, given “the urgent need of the building.”

He informed that the tender process for the Westmoreland Parish Council building, to be constructed in the parish capital of Savanna-la-Mar, is underway. He noted that the parties and stakeholders involved are “working out the final (details)”, while assuring that “we expect to break ground very soon.”

The Minister informed that the Portmore building project was still in the “early stages of planning”.

Meanwhile, Health Minister, and Eastern St. Thomas Member of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, welcomed plans for the new municipal building.

“The St. Thomas Parish Council, for some time now, has been (seeking) a permanent home. The breaking of grounds today, is not only symbolic, but represents…a decision to find scarce resources (to execute this project). Therefore, I want to applaud the Minister…(and)…the Mayor, and his team of councilors for making this possible,” Dr. Ferguson said.

Member of Parliament for Western St. Thomas, where the building will be located, James Robertson, also welcomed the development.

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