The government is planning to collaborate with property owners in St. John’s City to enhance the appearance of the nation’s capital. Minister of Information, Melford Nicholas, has stated that improving the city’s aesthetics is a top priority for the government.
This may involve making legal changes that require building owners to adhere to specific standards.
The growth of international shipping companies has had a negative impact on local businesses, including retail trade, which has resulted in decreased revenue. Minister Nicholas explained that many businesses in St. John’s are no longer financially viable due to US mailboxes and e-commerce logistics, making it increasingly difficult for them to maintain and reinvest in their properties.
Minister Nicholas emphasized the importance of reimagining the use of St. John’s while preserving its cultural heritage.
This process could include a review of vending in the city, which would require engaging with the vending community and the St. John’s Development Corporation. Once a master plan is developed, specific zones will be designated for certain businesses to operate instead of a free-for-all.
“At the end of it all, there must be a multistakeholder engagement. It will involve the vending community and St Johns Development Corporation and once the master plan has been developed and approved, there will be zones within that masterplan where certain types of business will operate. It will not be a free flow of vendors.
He said there is sufficient space in the capital for everyone to be able to have an economic stay.
“We looked at Tarner Street with the drain that runs in the middle perhaps we can convert Tarner Street into a promenade…it’s just a thought”, he said
The Cabinet has decided to take action to tackle the pollution problem in the city. In the short term, the Ministry of Health will investigate the possibility of installing small sewage plants that can purify the grey water system of each building.
This will help to eliminate the polluted effluent that is currently contaminating the air. The ultimate goal of the government is to bring the city in line with other Caribbean countries and improve its condition.
However, Minister Nicholas has acknowledged that achieving this goal may take more than ten years.
To increase revenue from the cruise industry, the government plans to invest in the St. John’s port, especially the cruise port, by providing additional services.
Minister of Tourism Charles Fernandez, who is also responsible for the St. John’s Development Corporation, will lead the government’s consultations with property owners.