During the August 17 meeting of the Hope Town District Council the new Island Administrator, Preston Cunningham, was welcomed as they dealt with budgetary and other matters.
Chief Councilor Jeremy Sweeting told Mr. Cunningham that he looks forward to developing a strong working relationship between the council and the new administrator.
Mr. Cunningham told the councilors that he has spent 41 years in public service and worked on ever island except two. He added that he is looking forward to good things here in Abaco and asked the council to keep an open mind, reminding them that they are there to do the business of the people.
Chris Prewitt, representing the homeowners of North End, noted that the Council has a contract for maintaining the roads between Hope Town settlement and Dorros Cove which does not extend as far as North End.
He said the road is in deplorable condition and the bushes on the sides of the road are overgrown. Presently the fire truck would not be able to pass.
He said that the homeowners on North End pay taxes like everyone else and should get the same consideration.
Mr. Sweeting said he feels the council should be able to put more focus on that area and though the budget is tight the council would see how they could assist.
Mr. Prewitt also stated that he has been trying for years to get the telephone junction boxes upgraded as the conditions of the phone system is terrible; sometimes as many as 12 phones are out. Mr. Prewitt asked the administrator if he could do something to which the administrator said he would see what he could do.
Harold Malone said that a man and his family at Hope Town is donating money to build a community library and has already opened an account with large deposit in place. It is estimated that he will be donating over $200,000 to complete the project.
The man is asking to also be permitted to do renovations on the government building – specifically lowering the wall in front of government building and removing western bathroom to other side of the building.
The Administrator suggested that there be a town meeting to get public opinion which the Council agreed they would do. Concerning the wall of the government buildings the administrator said seek the opinion of the people and based on that bring the information to the central government as it is their property. Mr. Sweeting said they will aim for a meeting at the end of August.
Mr. Sweeting noted that they had to do a lot of cutting to accommodate Guana Cay’s dump situation and they also are adjusting to account for the inclusion of North End Road in the Maintenance Contract.
Danny Trembley, who holds the contract for the road maintenance said they would need an additional 200 dollars per month extra to include it the North End Road
Johnny Harold Bethel was contacted about his barge that was stranded on a beach at Guana Cay during Hurricane Irene in 2011. He informed the Council that he is waiting to get the boat licensed in order to be able to move it. He hopes to have it moved by the end of August.
Some council members visited Cornish Cay after receiving information that there were things happening without the necessary permits. Their inspection didn’t reveal any issues; however, there appeared to be some questionable dredging which may have been done several years ago.
According to the Port Department, Lobster Rock and Porgi Rock will receive warning lights which was welcome news to the Council. The Royal Bahamas Defense Force has requested it be done immediately.
Abaco Tug and Transport and SUNCO Builders submitted applications to carry out sand mining. Abaco Tug applied for an area at Tilloo bank. The council said that because it is a tourist attraction and it would cause shifting of the beach they would decline it. Both applications were declined.
A forty foot long freight service dock for Joe’s Cay was granted after review.