Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie has sought to reassure the public that the reconstruction of the Musgrave market will be funded by the Ministry and the Portland Municipal Council.
The Minister was addressing comments made in the public domain that the reconstruction of the market would be passed on to another party and that the Government would play no part in the initiative.
“Let me state categorically that no decision has been taken to divest the interests of the Musgrave market to anybody. It is the property of the municipal corporation, and whatever repairs are going to be done, the funding will be provided by the Ministry of Local Government,” said McKenzie.
The Minister was speaking at a press briefing today (June 14) when he addressed the matter.
The Musgrave market was destroyed by a fire last month, leaving hundreds of vendors without a source of income.
McKenzie noted that the Government allocated J$10 million to undertake cleanup and provide temporary shelter for the butchers in the market who were severely affected by the fire. He added that other systems are already in place to restore the market.
The Minister also noted that member of parliament for the area, Ann Marie Vaz received private support from the Action Ann Foundation in the form of $J100,000 grants for vendors affected.
“But I want to make it clear because already I have heard comments being made about the role of the member of parliament as it relates to the reconstruction of the market. The reconstruction of the market is a matter for the Ministry of Local Government and the Portland Municipal Corporation.
He continued: “Any design, any costing will be undertaken by the ministry of local government, and if there are private interest who wants to be a part of it, we welcome that, but I want to put to rest the mischief that is being made about what will happen to the repairs and the future of the Musgrave market in Portland”.
McKenzie noted that the market is insured, and the insurance agency is assessing the area.
He also shared that he will visit the market this Friday (June 16) and meet with vendors to discuss the best way forward.