MoBay’s mayor to meet with Bogue land squatters
Montego Bay's mayor, Councillor Homer Davis, is to meet with the persons illegally occupying lands owned by the St James Municipal Corporation at the Bogue Industrial Estate, in the western city, on Monday.
According to the mayor, the meeting is to finalise arrangements as to whether or not the lands, which have been stirring up controversy for several years, will be sold to its current occupiers.
"The purpose of this meeting is to dialogue with the occupants as we work towards the sale of the property and the collection of monies for the use and occupation of the property," Davis noted in a media release on Wednesday.
"We are seeking now, by this process, to ensure that we get the best returns, which will be applied to major capital projects for the benefit of the people of St James," Davis added.
The Bogue Industrial Estate property, which sits adjacent to the Fairview commercial complex in south eastern Montego Bay, was initially developed as an automotive node for street-side garages. However, after the subdivision of the property was delayed, the land was taken over by commercial squatters, who currently occupy approximately 26 lots at the location.
The land has also been the subject of political infighting over several years, including a period in 2003 when the Ministry of Local Government blocked an attempt by the St James Parish Council, then led by Noel Donaldson, to subdivide and sell the property.
Speaking further on the Corporation's efforts to sell the property, Davis noted that the local authority has been unable to complete the transaction despite holding the registered certificate of title since December 2011.
"From then to 2016, there has been no meaningful advance of progress on the matter," Davis declared. "It is a prime piece of real estate, and the Corporation can realise some J$500 million in revenue for its coffers (resulting from the sale)."