Clarendon still waiting for road repairsThursday, October 21, 2021
MAY PEN, Clarendon — At least one councillor from the Clarendon Municipal Corporation has expressed disappointment that funding is yet to be disbursed from central government for the rehabilitation of roads severely damaged by flood waters associated with tropical storms Elsa, Grace, and Ida.
Councillor Scean Barnswell, who represents the Hayes Division, raised the matter at last Thursday's sitting of the Clarendon Municipal Corporation's monthly meeting.
“I was expecting to hear word from the ministry as to what will be done about the roads that have been impacted by the passage of the tropical storms and, to date, we have not heard anything as it relates to an allocation for flood-damaged roads in the parish,” said Barnswell.
“I was happy when I learnt that Prime Minister [Andrew Holness] and the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie were in the parish touring, and that they went to Rock River, because that division has been suffering over many years and they would have seen the damage first hand.
“But it doesn't bring me any relief that after that visit we have not heard anything coming out of the ministry,” added Barnswell.
There was clear indication that he had the support of his colleagues as they nodded and pounded their desks in agreement while he spoke about the issue.
Barnswell, who is also the People's National Party minority leader in the corporation, argued that motorists struggle to navigate the roads daily.
“They are still suffering, although the estimates have long been prepared and submitted to the parent ministry as has been requested.
“It's an indictment that this parish was dubbed one of the worst hit and, to date, not even a dollar. Not even a cent. No word, nothing! And we still have to be contending with the pot holes, craters, and breakaways in some areas. We can't just sit and relax and say it is just business as usual, because it is not,” argued Barnswell.
“I am therefore asking if the superintendent has heard anything new from the ministry in terms of funding to deal with the damage,” he added.
In response, the chief engineering officer at the corporation, Davian Byfield, said to date there has been no word from the ministry on the issue.