When ground was broken for the $136 million Falmouth Tax Office on Cornwall Street in April last year, it was announced that the project would have been completed in August 2017.
Completion Dates Postponed
Due to slow progress, the August date was shifted to October 2017. However, we are now in January 2018, and the project has still not yet been completed.
This is as a result of the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) refusing to accept the building with its “flaws.”
From the Gleaner:
A source close to the project recently told The Gleaner that when officials of the TAJ inspected the building last month, it was discovered that the building, which was designed in accordance with Falmouth’s designation as a National Heritage Trust site, had a number of glaring flaws.
“TAJ is refusing to take over the building,” the source said. “They are arguing that accepting the building in its current state would mean that the responsibility of correcting the flaws would fall on them.”
Meris Haughton, chief corporate communications officer at the TAJ, had promised to get an official statement from the organisation’s’s management. However, several weeks have elapsed, and still no statement.
The Falmouth Tax Office has been trying to find a home for many years. They were housed at the old Tharp House (1 Tharp Street) about 50 years ago. They then moved to 2 Seaboard Street and in January 2012, moved to the Hampden Wharf Building (2 Tharp Street).
On November 2, 2015, the Falmouth Tax Office was relocated to the William Knibb Memorial Baptist Church Education Centre, 31 King Street, Falmouth. That is the current location.
Work Still Underway
When Falmouth News visited the Cornwall Street location (the site of the former proposed Conquerors Club House), work was still underway on what looked like the sewage system. However, the building was already nicely painted.
High Water Table
The Cornwall Street location is set on a former pond that was dumped many years ago. Because of the high water table, it gives a headache to contractors. The same problem was encountered in the construction of the nearby Falmouth Police station.
It is not certain what the flaws were that TAJ discovered or when the problems will finally be ironed out.
Here are some photos of the new Falmouth Tax Office on Cornwall Street in Falmouth.