Black River's mayor endorses Great Bay project

No. 48 Monday, February 01, 2010
Black River’s Mayor and Chairman of the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, Jeremy Palmer has thrown his full support behind plans by the Tourism Product Development Company Limited, TPDCo to “Spruce Up the Great Bay Fishing Beach in South St. Elizabeth.    Speaking at a stakeholders meeting at the Great Bay Fishing beach on Wednesday January 20, 2010 where TPDCo’s plans to develop aspects of the area were announced, Mayor Palmer said the St. Elizabeth Parish Council welcomes the development and stands ready to lend a helping hand where necessary.
   He said in addition to TPDCO’s scope of work, and as Councillor for the Pedro Plains Division in which the Great Bay Fishing Beach lies, he is assuring residents that the Council will truck water to the facility for use at the public sanitary conveniences. He said a garbage skip which has been procured through the National Solid waste Management Authority, NSWMA will be placed on the beach and additional lighting will be installed there.
   The Mayor said “the sanitary conveniences which were constructed by TPDCo sometime ago have been serving the community well and I am assuring you today that in the event of water being needed for them, I am just a telephone call away. In addition, I will be making available a large garbage skip to be placed on the beach in which garbage generated by those who enjoy the facilities can be placed. We (the Council) will make arrangements with Western Parks and Markets, WPM for the emptying and maintenance of the skip”.
   Mayor Palmer said “this side of the parish has been relatively crime free; and we want to keep it that way. In that regard I will be installing lights on the beach to ensure that the users are able to enjoy the facilities during late evenings and nights, in relative safety and comfort. I will also be allocating some funds towards the upgrading of the roads leading to this beach to allow easier access. This road programme will come on stream shortly and will just be another aspect of the Council’s way of helping upgrade the community of Great Bay”.
   Meanwhile, Coordinator for Spruce Jamaica, Marline Stephenson-Dailey in outlining the scope of work which will be carried out by TPDCO at Great Bay said the project which forms part of Spruce Up Jamaica’s “Pon De Corner” programme is one of several being implemented across the island and is being done in keeping with the mandate of Spruce Up...Entrepreneurship, Community, Environment, Mind Body Spirit and Heritage. She said “we are determined to engage the youths who are seen “Pon De Corner” in the targeted communities and so far the responses we have received are very encouraging.
   She said “TPDCO through Spruce Up Jamaica, with funding from the Tourism Enhancement Fund, TEF, will be spending some $400,000 on upgrading the community centre and the sanitary conveniences as well as on the hosting of capacity building workshops for the residents. This project when started should be completed within six to eight weeks and will apart from adding to the beauty and environmental preservation of the area, serve over 50 Fishermen and more than 300 residents of the Great Bay community.”.
   The Spruce Up Jamaica Coordinator said “residents are being asked to ensure that the investment in the community is protected and that they own the project. We at TPDCO, Spruce Up Jamaica and indeed the Ministry of Tourism continue to seek partnerships and we have found a solid partner in the citizens of Great Bay and remain confident that this venture will be successful”.
   According to Mrs. Stephenson-DaIley “Spruce Up Jamaica will engage the community members in some form of capacity building exercises which will in the long run ensure that persons are able to get into meaningful income generating activities. Spruce Up Jamaica is not only about beautification and things of that nature, but includes community tourism opportunities, which will ensure that residents of the areas in which we work, become engaged in economic activities and projects which will benefit a wide cross section of the community”.
   The Spruce Up Jamaica campaign is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism executed by the Tourism Product Development Company Ltd. (TPDCO) with funds from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).

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