Drain-Blocking Scheme


Drain-Blocking Scheme

Falmouth mayor warns against scheme for financial gain

Observer West reporter
Observer West reporter

Thursday, August 08, 2019

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Colin Gager has revealed that the Trelawny Municipal Corporation (TMC) has uncovered a scheme in which unscrupulous individuals seeking employment to clear drains in the historic town of Falmouth are deliberately dumping boulders and other debris into them to secure jobs.

“When they block the drains it means work for them. So once it is blocked you going have everybody come out saying that they want work to clean the drains. We have discovered that after they clean it, then more is put back in a short period and then you will have to clean it in another week, that is what is happening,” Gager explained.

The mayor, who is also Chairman of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation, is urging persons to desist from that practice, as he warned that anyone who is caught deliberately ditching junk into the drains can be prosecuted for breaches of the Anti-Litter Act.

“I want to remind persons that if caught throwing stones or whatever debris into the drains they can be prosecuted,” Gager cautioned.

He revealed that recently the TMC has requested funding from the Ministry of Local Government to recruit at least 12 assistant wardens to complement the eight municipal police to monitor litter and other breaches in the historic town.

“Honestly, it takes quite an amount of municipal police to keep this town in the proper order. And of course at the same time we have to make sure that we protect the municipal police so that they are safe. We don't want a small group walking so that if any harm should come of them...,” Gager told the Observer West.

“We have also had words with the JCF [Jamaica Constabulary Force] and we have asked that they provide one of their officers to work with us so that we can really control what is happening in the town.”

Meanwhile, the Trelawny Municipal Corporation has received some $8million from the Tourism Product Development Company Ltd (TPDCo) to assist with its drain cleaning programme in the historic town of Falmouth, the home of the island's leading cruise shipping port.

According to Gager, the municipal corporation has made provisions for the funding of drain cleaning exercise in all nine council divisions, but the funding from TPDCo has served to strengthen the Falmouth Division's allocation.

“We have provided allocations to all councillors for drain cleaning. Additionally, we successfully applied to TPDCo for an allocation of $8million to supplement the allocation for the Falmouth division, because we realised that there was need for additional resources to address the drains in the division,” Gager explained.

He noted that the TPDCo allocation, which has been assisting with drain cleaning in Falmouth since last month, will last for a period of 10 months.

“It [funding from TPDCo] is now being spent that's what helped us because we were woefully short of cash and as you can see they are large drains, and they are really far and wide so we are now using up that money. And we have decided to use it on a month to month basis. So we use it on a month to month basis it will at least take us to about 10 months down the road in keeping the drains clean,” Gager explained.

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