The Central Abaco District Council held its monthly meeting on August 28.
The first matter concerned the bathrooms at Crossing Beach that need extensive repairs. The Marsh Harbour Town Committee does not have the funds for repairs although it does have the funding for daily cleaning. The bathrooms need new toilets, urinals, basins, additional tile and new doors. The Town Committee estimates that the repairs will cost $4,000 which the Town Committee is asking the Council to fund. The restrooms are used by taxi drivers, passengers on the ferries and the customers of a restaurant located adjacent to the bathroom.
Chief Councillor George Cornish read a letter from the manager of the take-out, that outlined the problems. She was present when the letter was read and was able to comment. Both she and Town Committee Chairman Yvonne Key want a solution to the situation that is acceptable by everyone.
It was decided that the Council will allocate $4,000 to the Town Committee for repairs to the Crossing Beach bathrooms. The Town Committee will be responsible for cleaning the restrooms daily while the take-out manager will provide soap, tissue and paper towels.
Moving on, the Council decided to install signs near schools on Don MacKay Boulevard that will require drivers maintain a 15 mph speed during hours when schools open and close. The ultimate goal is to install blinking yellow lights, but the budget does not allow that at this time.
The Council will repaint the pedestrian crossing road marking on Forest Drive at the Central Abaco Primary School and Abaco Central High School. Other pedestrian crossing road markings on Don MacKay Boulevard will be done after the re-paving is completed.
The Council members are very upset about the situation at the landfill. The previous contractor was let go in June. No one is now responsible for the landfill. Big Cat now pushes the garbage weekly. But Council members cannot get a satisfactory answer from Nassau as what is to be done there long term. As far as they know, tenders have not been put out for landfill management. MP Renardo Curry, Minister of State for Abaco, is also working to get this problem resolved. Council members wondered how the public could push central government to act.
The Councillors feel that Abaco is not being treated well by Central Government. They named the serious problems with the landfill, the roads with extensive potholes and the immigrant communities that are constantly expanding without oversight.
Mr. Cornish is finally getting internet service for the Council office. This will assist the office staff greatly.
Mr. Cornish plans to attend a meeting in Nassau of Chief Councillors from all the Family Islands to complain about the 2013-2014 budget figures for the Family Islands. Most Council budgets were cut substantially from the previous year.
Mr. Cornish has used his phone extensively for Council matters. The Council allocated $300 to assist him with his $1200 phone bill.
The Council is asking to use the old clinic building when it is vacated. They want to convert it to a community center that will include a library, computer center and museum. They understand that the Ministry of Education would also like to use the building.