New developments in the case of straw vendors emerged yesterday, as Works Minister Desmond Bannister told Eyewitness News that the failure of those vendors to live up to their weekly rent obligations is partly the reason the market is presently in dire straits.
Bannister insisted that the rent is needed to help with the upkeep of the facility.
Vendors complained to Eyewitness News last week that the market is unkept and is plagued with a myriad of issues including, dim to no lights in certain areas of the market.
The vendors – who claimed the nearly $40 weekly rent is too hight compared to what they gross in a week – were issued a four-day eviction notice last week, detailing that they must have paid up on their rent arrears or face eviction.
As a result of that notice, Bannister noted that 51 vendors have not been able to pay and have subsequently been evicted.
In 2010, when the Bay Street market burned down, vendors paid nothing for stall fees. Since moving into the new facility however, stall rentals have been set to $39 weekly.
While the fee may seem minuscule to some, vendors insist they barely make $100 a week.