Member of Parliament for Central and South Abaco held one of several planned town meetings for his constituency at the Anglican Hall in Marsh Harbour on October 5, 2017 to hear residents’ concerns and issues for their community.
James Albury, also serving as Parliamentary Secretary, was joined by Island Administrator Maxine Duncombe and Marsh Harbour Spring City Town Committee Chairman Roscoe Thompson as he fielded questions from the audience, making it clear that the meeting was not political, but to “focus on issues that affect the community.”
Topics that were raised ranged roads and water for Sweeting’s Village, public transportation and schedule of fares, Spring City Road (Ernest Dean Highway) regarding its condition, litter and the idea of a toll booth, the landfill/dump and discussion of enforcing litter laws, reflective cat eyes for the long dark road south as well as north, school zone speed enforcement, concerns about public housing in Spring City and the need for another sub-division, issues with driver’s license printing, and more.
Mr. Albury, responding to road works, noted that for Sweeting’s Village there have already been discussions with Water and Sewerage Corporation regarding bringing water to the sub-division and will follow up to see how road paving would be possible, noting that it is “a matter of planning.”
The road from the airport roundabout past Snake Cay has already had a scope of works done since 2015 and bids received according to Mr. Albury. He said he is looking into revisiting the work and reopening bids.
Issues were raised concerning public transportation (buses and taxis) which Mr. Albury said he is working on some things with North Abaco MP Darren Henfield. He noted that they are seeking to find solutions to concerns regarding the state of the road to Albury’s Ferry’s Red Bay location and damages it is causing to the bus and other vehicles that travel there daily.
The Road Traffic Department is expecting to also look at potential public bus transportation in Abaco as well as setting a schedule of accepted fees for such services.
Mr. Albury acknowledged that the landfill is indeed a dump and not run as intended. He has raised concerns with the minister seeking long term solutions, with the potential for a local committee to be given responsibility for its oversight and make it a true landfill once again.
Regarding the constant littering of the road verges between the round-about and the dump Mr. Albury said that he has spoken with the local Head of the Police about monitoring that particular stretch of road; however, the Police continue to face limits in resources and personnel.
He said that he is trying to work with the Police in addressing manpower and resource issues to make sure that Abaco is being given the level of protection and enforcement it needs.
Mr. Albury said he is doing his utmost to resolve outstanding issues with the public housing situation in Spring City as there are numerous complaints and persons paying but still waiting to be able to occupy their homes.
Mr. Albury also admitted some frustration in resolving the driver’s license printing problem in Abaco, noting that he currently has a ‘paper license’ and is waiting for the proper card, adding that it should be a simple thing to fix.