Following years of neglect, the East La Penitence Market is finally getting a facelift after the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) awarded a contract to construct fences and rehabilitate other parts.
The contract, which was awarded to GRE Engineering, is pegged at more than $14 million and is being done as a collaboration between the Ministry of Communities and the M&CC. During a tour of the ongoing works at the Market yesterday, Assistant City Engineer Rasheed Kellman told Stabroek News that two fences are being constructed at the market’s western and eastern sides which will stand some 10 feet high. The lower portion of the fences will be made of concrete blocks while the upper part will be of mesh. Kellman said that work will be done on the sanitary blocks, revenue collection area, and the storage bonds and is expected to be completed within two months.
Occupants of the market have long complained about the state of the stalls and the roads that lead into the market. M&CC Public Relations Officer Debra Lewis related that they have a plan to “get the market up back and running at the state it used to be.”
“Really, it was a drive-thru market and it’s supposed to be. It serves a very important role for the community so we really want to get it up and running back so citizens can have access to it freely. It was a busy and buzzing market but because of the state of disrepair and financial constraints [of the M&CC] we were unable to repair and resuscitate it and as a result a lot of persons left and vacated their stalls but we will do repairs and we are encouraging the residents and citizens to once again support the market,” Lewis said, while stating that the current occupancy of the market stands at 70%.