Portmore Municipality denies spending $160m on proposed Climate Change ParkMonday, September 27, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Portmore City Municipality (PCM) on Monday denied claims that it spent $160 million on the establishment of the Portmore/Hagen Climate Change Park.
The PCM's response comes after Member of Parliament for St Catherine South East, the Jamaica Labour Party's Robert Miller, called on the People's National Party-led agency to account for the funds that were supposed to have been spent on establishing the so-called Climate Change Park, in Portmore, St Catherine.
“We have been asking questions to the Municipal Council as to what has been done to the $160 million that is said to have been spent on the park, which continues to be a dust bowl and nuisance to many. The citizens of St Catherine South Eastern need answers and they need them now,” Miller said.
In its response the PCM noted that the establishment of the park, which was a partnership between Hagen and the PCM, initially cost $66 million and was later revised to J$176 million to complete.
''The park was to be made from natural resources, features a jogging trail, parking area, freshwater pond, administrative buildings, irrigation system, amphitheatre, solar lighting, storm-water drainage system, and tree planting areas,'' the PCM said in its statement.
According to the council, it has been unable to move forward with the completion of the recreational park due to the ''monumental'' cost associated with its completion.
''Based on a recent discussion with the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) a similar park that was developed in Montego Bay took over $1 billion to complete,'' the statement read.
''To date, the PCM has received $25,498,000 from the Government of Jamaica and $14,025,879.31 from Hagen; a total of approximately $39.5 million, and spent J$42 million,'' the statement noted.
The park is at varying stages of completion, which can be verified by an independent audit, the council said, adding that MP Miller is welcomed to visit for any further information or to satisfy any inquiry he may have.