Our Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Philip Davis, was on island May 27. He was joined by the Honourable Glenys Hanna-Martin as well. It so happens that it is these two leaders that Abaconians so desperately want answers from.
Mr. Davis, aside from being our country’s Deputy Prime Minister, also holds the title of Minister of Works. Right now, to my ears and yours, that translates to “Roads.”
The Hon. Ms. Hanna-Martin is Minister of Transport and Aviation was here as well. Go ahead and say it: Airport.
Two incredibly vexing issues, shameful roads and an almost-comically delayed airport, we on Abaco deal with. And the people ultimately in charge came and gave us a visit. But we’ll get to those in a minute. Mr. Davis and the government had a $1.6 million dollar bone to throw to Abaco and they weren’t going to spend it all in one place.
I do want to commend the government for investing in Fox Town. Some people forget how big Abaco actually is and how diverse her needs. And the islands made even longer when you can hardly drive the roads for fear of breaking an axle. But Fox Town, Abaco should be receiving proper educational facilities if local construction companies Mills Construction and Odell Cox Construction carry out a good job. I believe any Abaco business given the chance to shine can produce quality work.
Like the roads in Central Abaco. Local companies could have done a much better job than the current circus that’s taking place. I’m sorry. I said I’d get to the roads later. My apologies, I digress.
But in all honesty the Fox Town improvements (classrooms, bathrooms and buildings for preschool and primary school) are good news for the youth of Little Abaco.
Also on the docket was our port. Marsh Harbour’s Container Port Building and International Warehouse is a mess. Luckily for folks who enjoy knowing their international shipping facility is sound, Mr. Davis signed a little over $45K to Bill Swain & Sons Construction. They are to carry out repairs so that our dock workers don’t feel they work at a dilapidated shed.
One last thing I would like to commend the government for. You may have noticed, especially if you read the front page article, that all work was awarded to Abaco contractors. Again, I wish they had the foresight to have done the same thing with the road work in Central Abaco. Especially if all they planned to do was sand seal.
The pipeline from the Marsh Harbour Airport to the ferry docks is what feeds all of us in one way or another. And that stretch of road is, perhaps, the worst on the island.
Of course if you make a bad impression on our tourists right off the bat, the roads don’t matter. How many times have you seen visitors huddled under the cramped airport overhangs as it pours rain turning the ground around them to mud? How often can you hardly see at that old terminal see for sake of dust? It’s loud, messy and shameful.
This is a dead horse. So I will only say this: Mr. Davis, Ms. Hanna-Martin, you have pegged the opening of the new terminal for August 2013 (funny how we have to clarify the year). I implore you and your government to do all in your power to keep to this date. The recent work you have signed to bring the airport up to international standards is a step we at once commend you for but also make no extra praise for.
This has been a long time coming. We deserve this. And I, for one, sincerely look forward to not having to drag this dead horse of a topic out for each paper.