Residents of Albion Mountain, St. Mary, are breathing a sigh of relief following the $4.5 million rehabilitation of the Roslyn main road in the community.
The road was recently resurfaced through the cooperation of the European Union (EU) and the St. Mary Parish Council. Funding to the tune of approximately $2.7 million was provided by the EU, while the remaining $1.8 million was contributed by the Parish Council.
The project began in September, last year and was completed in December. Work included the marling and asphalting of the roadway, and construction of cross and “V” drains.
It was funded under the Rural Economic and Social Infrastructure Support Project (RESISP), which is managed by the St. James Parish Council with the assistance of the Department of Local Government.
RESISP is being undertaken through a grant of Euros 1.15 million from the European Union’s Banana Support Programme, to address the economic fallout resulting from the liberalization of the banana market in Europe.
The programme provides financing for projects in the six traditional banana growing parishes – St. Thomas, St. Mary, Clarendon, St. James, Portland and St. Catherine. Some 1,200 households are expected to benefit.
The official handing over of the road to the St. Mary Parish Council took place during a ceremony at the Albion Mountain Primary School, on Friday (February 19).
Among those attending were Minister of State for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, and Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi Alemani, Head of Delegation of the EU to Jamaica.
Addressing the function, Mr. Montague expressed gratitude to the EU for the role it has played in making the Roslyn Road Rehabilitation a reality, and for the significant contributions it has made, over the years, to the development of numerous other social and economic initiatives in the country.
He noted that the project will play a leading role in catalyzing further improvements in the community, and urged the St. Mary Parish Council and residents of Albion Mountain to ensure that the best care is taken of the road, to ensure that it lasts as long as possible.
Ambassador Mazzocchi congratulated the Department of Local Government, the St. James Parish Council and the other five Parish Councils implementing the Rural Economic and Social Infrastructure Support Project for their outstanding work, and observed that the rehabilitation of Roslyn Road will serve as an enhancement to the economic and social upliftment of the residents of the Albion Mountain community.
Declaring that the EU has earmarked J$1.2 billion dollars for rural diversification from banana producing communities, he asserted that, together with the Government of Jamaica, it has adopted an integrated approach to rural development, supporting local initiatives for economic diversification, job creation and provision of social and economic infrastructure.
Also addressing the function were Mayor of Port Maria, Councillor Richard Creary, and Member of Parliament for Central St. Mary, Dr. Morais Guy, both of whom thanked the EU for its support in rehabilitating the road, and expressed confidence that the rehabilitation will influence further developmental initiatives in the community.