With twenty persons in attendance, Mrs. Jackie Estavez, Chief Councillor for South Abaco District, opened the meeting and a prayer was given by the Secretary, Ms. Davis. The new South Abaco Island Administrator, Donald Rolle, was introduced and he addressed the audience saying he was there to hear about the residents’ concerns.
Also in attendance were: Michael Saunders, from Cherokee’s local board and John Roberts representing Casuarina and Bahama Palm Shores. Mrs. Estavez said she had received several complaints and wanted to address them first.
A discussion was held regarding the pond across from BTC’s building – suggesting it be filled in or that a proper drain constructed. The land locked pond has a tendency to become stagnant.
In addition, the soak-away or drainage from several properties need cleaning and extending so water could exit into the mangrove. Richard Sawyer said he would clean out the drains as best he could and make a suggestion to the Council as to how the problem could be solved.
A resident brought up concerns about abandoned or empty houses within the settlement that are not being cared for or maintained. She suggested that the owners be notified of their derelict condition and that they should be taken care of or torn down. The Administrator said he would get their addresses and let them know in writing of the committee’s concerns.
Another resident asked if anything could be done to repair the sides of the roads as the cement verges are crumbling.
An attendee also requested that the speed limit within the settlement be raised from 10 MPH to 15 MPH as a more reasonable speed and that large properly marked signs be put up to inform drivers. It was also suggested that a policeman be brought in periodically (without prior notice) to stop speeders. The audience felt if a few were heavily fined that it would stop others from breaking the speed limit.
In addition, someone requested that the administrator approach BEC to install proper lighting in the way of street lights along the Cherokee access road; one at the first turn after you leave the highway, approximately four miles in and a second one at the next turn, approximately one more mile further on.
Both turns are extremely dangerous spots within the dark forested area. Without any other lighting there, several persons have run off the road, especially in these two spots.
Someone also inquired about spraying for flies, mosquitoes and sandflies as they continue to be a local problem. They remarked that they were kept under control while The Abaco Club at Winding Bay sprayed regularly within the settlement, but that they were no longer doing it. The administrator said that he would check with the Department of Agriculture and request a solution for this problem.
An additional Cherokee resident asked about keeping the Winding Bay beach access road, through The Abaco Club at Winding Bay’s property, be cleared of long grass, sand prickles and poison wood. It was also suggested that a key to the bathrooms and showers in the beach parking lot area could be left with someone in Cherokee where persons wishing to use the facility could pick it up and return it, whenever needed. The resident also asked if garbage collection could be picked up on a more predicable schedule.
Council member, Micheal Saunders, brought up the subject of speed bumps in Yellow Wood as well as in the settlement to try and slow down speeders and to protect persons and pets who might be on the road. The audience agreed with the suggestion. A sign announcing “You Are Entering The Settlement of Cherokee Sound – Please Slow Down” was suggested.
Regarding spraying for insects, Kevin Sawyer said he keeps bees and asked that he be informed when they planned to spray (as the spray kills his bees) as he would need to take some precautions.
One resident complained about long abandoned boats – stating that they either need to be made seaworthy, or be destroyed as they are an eyesore. One being in the creek area and another near the old dump.
Some people complained that there was not sufficient notice of the meeting and maybe that was why there were not more in attendance. Mrs. Estavez advised the audience about the South Abaco District Councils Blog on the internet for persons to stay informed. However, it was noted not everyone in Cherokee have computers or cell phones, so it would not help them.
Administrator Rolle promised he would be addressing the concerns and problems and said he would have another meeting soon to bring residents up-to-date on his progress.
The meeting was adjourned with a prayer by Micheal Knowles, also a member of Local Government.