FALMOUTH, Trelawny - The Trelawny Municipal Corporation (TMC) is preparing to publish photos of individuals caught urinating in public or littering the streets. It's part of a wider push to clean up Falmouth ahead of the Christmas unveiling of a statue of legendary sprinter Usain Bolt and the long-term plan to transform its image from a smelly, congested community into a resort town.
"We continue washing down and the sanitisation of streets. We also implore and ask those who find it fit to urinate on the streets to desist from doing so. We have a team out there that will be taking your pictures and once that picture is taken of you breaking the law, we will be displaying it at the municipal corporation for now, until later on when we have a display board in the town, to say you are caught breaking the law of the town. The [public] bathrooms are there," mayor of Falmouth and chairman of the TMC, Councillor C Junior Gager told the Jamaica Observer.
He pointed out that garbage bins are in place for the disposal of rubbish, to prevent littering.
The Falmouth mayor is adamant that the pedestrianised Water Square should be transformed into an area where locals and tourists can relax freely without having to contend with activities associated with vendors peddling their wares. He wants customers to be able to access stores in the town centre without having to compete for space with vendors' goods strewn at the entrances of business establishments.
He had touched on the issue at the most recent monthly meeting of the TMC.
"No vending in Water Square. The market is the place [for that], we will not tolerate the selling of food items in Water Square, we will not tolerate the selling of rum or rum bars within Water Square. We will be making sure that we control Water Square," Gager said then.
"We want to have a clean square but it is challenging work because people believe that you should break the law in order to survive. But I believe that we can have an orderly town; so we will be working on it to get Water Square to how we want. You cannot have Usain Bolt's statue being unveiled in the town as it is now. So we will be working very hard to make sure the town becomes what we had planned and expected it to be. So you will be seeing a lot of changes. We ask that you work with us," he urged residents.
According to commanding officer for the Trelawny Police Division, Deputy Superintendent of Police Winston Milton, they have had some success in ongoing efforts to free Water Square of vendors. Now the challenge is to keep the area clear. Gager has a plan.
"I want to say thanks to the JCF for ridding the town of vendors. It isn't a 100 per cent complete but we are working on it. [TMC CEO, Winston] Palmer will be putting together a team that will monitor it. So after the police come and remove then, our municipal team will be there to make sure that no one sets up anything inside of Water Square," the mayor vowed.
As he moves ahead to transform Falmouth, he is heartened by the effectiveness of other measures implemented so far, such as the September 1 opening of the transportation centre and getting cabbies to work from there.
"Since we have moved to the transportation centre there is a big difference in the urination on the road. You don't smell that stench from urine that they were doing on the road. It is a big difference," Gager said.
"We are getting commendations. [Tuesday] morning I met with a group of hoteliers and they were so pleased with what is happening in Water Square. They are now able to come into town, do their business and get out as fast as possible without any interference and people bouncing them down," he quipped.