The St. James Municipal Corporation (SJMC) says it intends to collect some $70 million in rent owed to it.
The rent is owed by businesses occupying Bogue Industrial Estate, near Montego Bay. Amounts owed by individuals range from just under quarter million dollars to over five million. The sums represent amounts owing for over six years.
Speaking at the monthly general meeting of the SJMC, Mayor of Montego Bay and Chairman of the St. James Municipal Corporation, Councilor Homer Davis said the Council is on a collection drive to get the $70 million, which is needed for infrastructure development and for maintaining public facilities.
“Persons occupying Bogue lands in St. James are being asked to get in touch with the accounts department at the Corporation immediately. We have some 26 such persons owing a total close to $70 million,” said Mr. Davis.
The Mayor outlined that in addition to needing the funds to enhance the growth of downtown Montego Bay and St. James, he is also anxious to have the lots sold. However, before any sale agreements are signed, the occupiers must be in good standing under the Government’s land divestment policy, he noted.
“I have reminded them of the Government’s guidelines as they relate to disposing of government property. You must be in good standing. There are persons out there who think that they can get these lands for nothing. The Contractor General said it must be sold at current market value,” he emphasized.