Work on the construction of a new building to house the Westmoreland Parish Council is slated to begin on July 27.
Minister of Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Noel Arscott, on Monday, July 13, signed a $74.8 million contract to facilitate the project, at his Hagley Park Road offices in Kingston.
Work on the new building, to be located at the intersection of Murray and Great George Streets in Savanna-La-Mar, is to be completed within 10 months.
In his address at the signing ceremony, Minister Arscott said the project will provide a comfortable and safe environment for staff to effectively serve citizens of the parish.
He said the Government is focussed on improving service delivery at the local government level, as part of efforts to enhance the environment for going business.
“Government is looking at speeding up the process of delivering service to the people. Our building approval process, we have advanced it and we want to keep it going” he noted.
He said that the Application Management and Data Automation (AMANDA) system has played a key role in improving efficiency, which has resulted in Jamaica’s ranking in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business report moving up from 85 in 2014 to 58 in 2015.
“We want to accelerate that to move from 58 to around 20. I am relying on the councils to do their work in the delivery… I expect you to continue the hard work in ensuring that the people of Westmoreland get what they deserve; good service in a good, clean, decent atmosphere,” he said.
Mayor of Savanna-La-Mar, Councillor Bertel Moore, welcomed the signing of the contract for the project to get underway.
“I have to thank our Minister, who has worked with us and has worked so hard to make this project a reality,” he said.
The Westmoreland Parish Council currently occupies space at the Savannah-La-Mar courthouse located at 96 Great George Street.
The contract was signed with local contracting company NR Diaram Construction Limited. The project is to be supervised by the Ministry’s Technical Services Department.