Councillor wants to tap into emergency funds for road repairs
Inside The MunicipalitiesTuesday, October 19, 2021
BY AKERA DAVIS
OCHO RIOS, St Ann — Councillor of the Borobridge Division in St Ann South Western Winston Brown has called for an agile approach in reconstructing roads in the division that were destroyed by heavy rain associated with tropical storms Grace and Ida in August.
In a heated discussion during last Thursday's sitting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation, Brown said scores of people in his division, which is predominantly known for farming, are suffering as the roads they once used to transport their produce to the market is impassable.
“It is a shame… they cannot take their produce out. People's life and property are at stake; they are almost marooned right now,” lamented Brown as he alleged that several major roads were severely damaged by the flood waters.
“The situation in Borobridge right now is that the road that leads from Davis Town to Cascade, among others, has no access that trucks can go to and from. They are farming areas and people depend on that to survive. What are they supposed to now?” Brown questioned.
He said he had asked for a detailed plan for the restoration of the roads in his division but his cries for help have seemingly fallen on deaf ears.
“There are five huge breakaways on the roads, and from the storm pass through we can't get a proper report on what is going to be done. At the last finance meeting we were told that the estimates to fix the roads were sent to ministry and we haven't heard anything since,” charged Brown.
He said the issue must be dealt with as an emergency and asked mayor of St Ann's Bay Sydney Stewart to request funds allocated for emergency use to fix the roads.
“It is an emergency, and I know there are funds for emergency situations like this so I hope I can get the funds needed for this project in due time,” he urged.
In response, Stewart said he understands that the matter is in fact an emergency and it will be discussed at the upcoming finance meeting. The mayor added that other divisions are also in need of emergency funding so a proper allocation must be done before further steps can be taken.
“In our upcoming finance meeting we will be able to decide how much money each division needs, because all divisions suffer. So after we factor in all of this, then we can go from there,” Stewart said. “Give us a bit more time until we do the finances to ensure we are addressing it adequately.”