On April 2, two representatives of Sun Oil, Alcindor Bonamy and Clinton Rolle, addressed residents of Murphy Town during a Town Meeting. They communicated their company’s intention to increase the present tank capacity that holds 150,000 gallons of fuel to 600,000. The tank is located in an area of Murphy Town called Parker’s Landing. The tank site’s initial construction was controversial when it was proposed several years ago.
To the dismay of some residents, there was no visual indication or description of what was being proposed by the Sun Oil representatives.
Former Murphy Town Committee Chairman, Cubel “Star” Davis, said that he was under the impression that the presenters were to show a Power Point presentation or at least have drawings.
“I have the impression that this thing is cut and dry and that you are only here to inform us” he told them.
People were told that the increased capacity of fuel kept in Murphy Town was to help BEC cut their operative costs.
The presenters answered questions from the audience, many of whom believed the tank should be built in Wilson City next to BEC and not in Murphy Town where residents are concerned with potential health and environmental damage.
A comment by Mr. Sherman Swain that it would be safer at Wilson City was met with applause from the audience. However the two men continued to mention that security measures were in place and that the Ministry of Works would not let the tank to be built without the proper technical designs.
Mr. Bonamy and Mr. Rolle explained that the tanks were designed to suppress fires and mentioned that the fire brigade would be involved. They were surprised to find out that Abaco Fire Departments are operated solely by volunteers and are not part of a government agency.
They mentioned that alarms tied up to shutting valves would notify the residents of an emergency, but did not commit themselves about liability insurance to cover the residents if injuries should be suffered or to take care financially of any environmental mishaps.
If the tank is built, it would be the second largest in The Bahamas. Their reason for increasing the fuel (Diesel) capacity is to support BEC, they said again.
“It would cut the number of trips to the power plant from twelve to two”, they explained.
Residents then asked if Murphy Town would benefit of a rate cut from BEC; they said they could not speak on behalf of the power company.
Confronted by the reluctance of the residents attending to approve the project, they mentioned that the plan was still under review.
Mr. Davis asked the visitors to take the residents’ concerns to their company’s officials.
Administrator Charles Moss was present at the meeting as well as Local Government Officials such as Mr. George Cornish, Mr. Gilbert Davis, the Murphy Town Committee Chairman who called the meeting and Mr. Matthew Claridge, another Murphy Town Committee representative.
As the meeting ended, Murphy Town residents decided to print a petition expressing their rejection of the project to be signed by all Murphy Town residents to be submitted to Sun Oil.