The construction of the $136 million 4,700 square feet Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) building on Cornwall Street here in Falmouth, Trelawny, is right on target. That is, according to Trelawny’s Mayor Colin Gager.

Interestingly, the building lies on the same block of land as the Falmouth Infant School, the Trelawny PArish Library and the Falmouth Police Station. That is a piece of reclaimed land. This author remembers as a child going to Falmouth Infant School, the entire surrounding area showed rermnants of mangrove swamps.

In the construction of the police station, drainage was a concern. Now there is the same concern for the Tax Office, but the Mayor has ensured that this has been considered as part of the construction of the new building.

Falmouth Tax Office King Street
The current (temporary) home of the Falmouth Tax Office on King Street

From Gleaner Western Bureau:

The $136 million, 4,700 square feet Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) building on Cornwall Street in Falmouth, Trelawny, is on target for its projected August 2017 completion date.

Once done, the offices of the TAJ will move from their current rental space on King Street, also in Falmouth, ending an old situation, which saw the agency changing locations three times in recent years.

While the new two-storey building will not be equipped with an elevator, a release from TAJ’s communication department revealed that a ramp facility will be in place for members of the disabled community to access the building, where they will receive services on the ground floor.

FLOODING CONCERNS

Interestingly, during the recent heavy rains, which affected Falmouth, the location where the building is being constructed was flooded, raising concerns about whether the site was ideal for the organisation’s new home.

However, in a subsequent release, the communications department said that the TAJ was aware of the situation but had no great concerns as the building plans include provisions for drainage of accumulated water from the compound leading into the sea.

When the matter was raised with Falmouth’s mayor, Councillor Colin Gager, he confirmed that drainage was included in the building plan submitted to the Trelawny Municipal Corporation, which, for him, is enough to suggest that there will not be a problem once the construction has been completed.

The mayor also pointed out that the new building falls within an area that is specially protected by the National Heritage Trust as a Georgian site. Falmouth has the largest intact collection of Georgian buildings in the Caribbean.

“Because of the declaration of Falmouth, the new building is expected to conform to the designation, which states, among other things, that the building must reflect the architectural design of the era in which the buildings of the past were constructed,” said Gager. “The architectural designs have specifications for windows, doors and moulding elements.”

With regard to the recent flooding, the mayor said that it was caused by blocked drains in and around Cornwall Street, which resulted from accumulated debris.

Source: The Gleaner.

CONCLUSION

The good news is that it is more than likely that the Tax Administration of Jamaica will finally have its home here in Falmouth, Jamaica. I remember my mother working there in the early 1970’s at the Tharp Street office. I never knew then that it was a rented premises. Now they will finally have a home.

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