Money available to clean drains, says McKenzie

Money available to clean drains, says McKenzie

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

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LOCAL Government Minister Desmond McKenzie has dismissed suggestions that drain cleaning work to be carried out by parish councils is being hampered by a lack of funds.

"No parish council in Jamaica has been deprived of any funding for drain cleaning," McKenzie declared at a press briefing at Jamaica House yesterday, in response to claims that drains in the Corporate Area are not being cleaned.

The issue came to the fore earlier this week after minority leader of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC), Councillor Delroy Williams, called on Mayor Angela Brown Burke to ensure that division allocations are not done in a partisan manner "but in such a manner that it will benefit all".

Yesterday, McKenzie disclosed that the majority of parish councils have received money from the parochial revenue fund.

"A number of parish councils, by virtue of submitting requests to the Ministry of Local Government for assistance, have received allocations for drain cleaning. Of the 14 councils, including the Portmore municipal council, it’s only about five parish councils that funds have not been dispatched to," McKenzie said.

He said that the local authorities are well aware that they are allowed to use the allocations from central government for June and July for drain cleaning.

The minister further explained that requests are usually acted upon as soon as they are made, but noted that even councils that have not yet received funding have the resources to carry out their drain cleaning projects.

"Within the councils there is a source of funding that is kept in savings that they can use to respond to emergencies, so it is not lack of funding," McKenzie explained.

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