Western News

Hanover Municipal Corporation building to be made into tourist attraction

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer writer

Thursday, June 01, 2017

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LUCEA, Hanover — The Hanover Municipal Corporation is moving to transform its over 175-year-old office building at Bustamante Square in Lucea into a viable tourism attraction.“This [Labour Day] came at the right time where we are now restoring the building itself, beautifying it, and preparing it for the new innovation that we have planned in terms of getting tourists to come and tour the building,” Mayor of Lucea and Chairman of the Hanover Municipal Corporation Sheridan Samuels said.

The work being undertaken includes beautifying the area around the building and repairs to the section of the building that houses the decades-old clock situated on the roof.

“We are going to put this area in a state where, whenever you are passing through Lucea, you will want to stop and look at the beauty, the history that we have to offer,” expressed an enthused Samuels.

The move forms part of a wider plan by the People's National Party-led corporation to generate additional funds in an effort to become self-reliant.

The local government ministry has been on a drive encouraging all municipal corporations across the country to devise ways of generating additional funds and not to rely on the collection of property taxes and other fees to meet its obligations.

“We were told that we have to be self-sufficient. So, as a result of that, we have to get in now as much out of our own source that we can possibly get, and also the little funding that we are going to get from property taxes. We have to use it to stop the gap. We will not be getting anything in terms of subvention for salaries from the ministry again, based on what we were told,” Mayor Samuels told Jamaica Observer West.

The chairman said, under the initiative, visitors will be able to “go up in the clock tower”.

“There will be a tour guide to outline to them exactly some history behind it. We are going to allow them to tour our chamber and different sections, the administrative section of the building... ,”said Samuels.

The corporation is hoping to welcome its first set of visitors before the start of this 2017/2018 winter tourist season.

The mayor also disclosed that an area adjacent to the Lucea Methodist Church will be used as parking lot for vehicles transporting visitors to tour the historic building.

The municipal corporation's building is one of several national heritage sites in Hanover.

Plans are also being finalised for a function to be held later this year to dedicate the historic clock — which was originally destined for the Caribbean island of St Lucia, but instead arrived in Lucea due to a similarity in names.

It was later installed in the Hanover capital.

The municipal building was constructed in 1840 and was originally used as the Parish Court until a new courthouse was constructed at Haughton Court in Hanover over 30 years ago.

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