Portmore to get New council building
LOCAL Government and Community Development Minister Desmond McKenzie Wednesday signed a $90-million contract with HDB Construction Limited, to facilitate a modern administrative building for the Portmore Municipal Corporation.The construction of the official municipal building for Portmore was one of the commitments given by Minister McKenzie in his contribution to the 2017/18 Sectoral Debate in April.
In his remarks at the contract signing ceremony held at the Ministry on Wednesday, Minister McKenzie noted that, apart from the need for improved security, as well as to end the payment of rental for its current premises, the municipal corporation “ought properly to be housed in its own space, which reflects its own identity, and that space must be a modern symbol of civic pride and enhanced service delivery”.
In noting the national impact of the recent rains, the minister said: “This is a wake-up call to all of us, about how and where we build structures. This new building will be a potent symbol of your authority, which you must exercise thoroughly and fairly. The decisions and actions that come from the elected representatives and the administrative officials can silence all critics who believe that local government is irrelevant or inefficient. The quality of your stewardship will determine the kind of regard in which you are held, and by extension, the system of local government.”
The minister said:
• The new 22,654 sq ft facility will be a modern, stand-alone building, which will be located on four acres of Government land in the vicinity of the Braeton Parkway and Municipal Boulevard. This is near to the South St Catherine Police Division, popularly called hundred-man police station.
• The $190 million cost of the project will be financed from the Equalisation Fund, as well as the Municipal Corporation’s funds.
• Construction is expected to last for 20 months, beginning on June 1, and the intention is to execute the project in sections, so that the corporation can move in and use the space during the period of the works. It is expected that the building will be completed by February 2019.• The building will feature a ground floor, first floor and attic floor, and will have energy-efficient features such as solar street lighting and LED lighting. The overall development plan also includes landscaping, adequate car parking and water harvesting.
The contract signing was also addressed by Member of Parliament for St Catherine Southern Fitz Jackson and Mayor of Portmore Leon Thomas, who both described the development as a welcome and eagerly anticipated lift for the elected and administrative servants of the people of Portmore, as well as the residents of Portmore themselves.