San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello says the Corporation is considering charging J’ouvert band owners a small fee to facilitate the cleaning up of the streets on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
Property owners on Cipero Street, as well as business owners on High Street, have complained about their properties being defaced by the mud and paint used by J’ouvert bands.
But Regrello said while property damage is not the norm for South Carnival, it was important to safeguard the environment.
“We have a stakeholders meeting and yes we want band owners to put measures in place to protect private property. We would like them to discourage masqueraders from defacing property and I would support a call for masqueraders to chip in and help property owners repaint,” Regrello said.
However, he noted that doing this would be difficult as not everyone would see the need to volunteer their services to help property owners after Carnival.
“This is why precautionary measures should be taken. We will have discussions to see if we can charge a fee so that we can take care of the stains, confetti and other material which they use for J’ouvert,” Regrello said.
He noted that South Carnival is patterned by Port-of-Spain Carnival so whatever is popular in the capital city filters down to San Fernando.
“We have never had any complaints of property damage in San Fernando but we have seen properties being defaced by paint so charging a fee for cleanup may be a good idea,” he added.
Meanwhile, Val Ramsingh, owner of D Blue Boys J’ouvert band said he was in favour of masqueraders helping property owners to repaint. Ramsingh said, unlike other bands they do not use paint.
“We crush up Blu which people use to wash and we add water to it so our paint is water-based. We do not deface people’s property. It is a policy with our band and for 38 years we never had any complaints,” he said. He noted that marshalls had a responsibility to ensure that all masqueraders adhere to health and safety standards.
“We have enforced policies in our band and we ensure that we police ourselves,” he added.