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Illegal business

Residents fed up with garage operating in residential area; urge authorities to address matter

BY KIMONE FRANCIS
Observer staff reporter
francisk@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, May 13, 2019

ATTEMPTS by residents in Galina, St Mary, to have an illegal automobile garage shut down have so far proven futile, as the operators have ignored notices issued by the municipal corporation.

The garage, located on Idlewild Crescent in the community, had more than 20 cars parked on the compound and along the road.

“That garage is there for about five years now. We've been speaking to them from ever since that the garage can't stay there. This is a private scheme and they block people's gate. They park in the middle of the road working on cars. At nights, sometimes 11 O' clock in the night they are over there working on vehicles. When you say something they get verbal and curse us out,” a resident, who spoke on behalf of the community, told the Jamaica Observer North & East during a visit to the community last Wednesday.

“It's a parish council problem. I've reported it to them. I've reported it to the mayor. I've written a letter to the mayor and nothing has happened. I went to the deputy mayor and the councillor and nothing has happened. I went to the planning people and they said it's not supposed to be there but nothing has happened. I called Bobby (Member of Parliament Robert Montague) and he told me to write the mayor a personal letter which I did,” the resident added.

The resident said an attorney was contacted, who also wrote to the mayor, but “nothing was done about it”.

He said the municipal corporation has indicated that it has served “three notices” but the operators have ignored them.

Observer North & East spoke to one of the operators, who insisted that they were not operating a garage, but were simply looking on cars for their friends. The operator said they were simply doing favours for their friends.

A string of disassembled cars lined the crescent on either side, some which appeared to have been there for months.

Observer North & East asked residents in neighbouring communities for directions to a garage and was pointed to Idlewild Cresent.

On Friday, Observer North & East contacted Mayor of Port Maria and chairman of the municipal corporation, Richard Creary, who said he was made aware of the matter and was informed that notices have been served.

“I'm not sure what the status is now, but it is something that I am aware of and I've asked that they serve the notices. I would now have to check to see if the notices have expired and if it has gone to court but I am aware that they have served notices.

“It is something that is on the minutes of the planning meeting. I have received a letter about it... so this notice I am told was served but when you serve the notices there is a time for it to expire and the next step is the court,” the mayor explained.

He said he will check to see if the issue has reached court.