Honouring its mandate to share the venue for its monthly Council meetings, the Hope Town District Council held its March meeting on Guana Cay on March 26, 2018.
A major decision by Council members was awarding license plates for 35 additional self-drive rental golf carts to Guana Cay and 25 additional license plates to Hope Town. The distribution of five and ten plates to various rental companies was based on the dates of the original applications, the size of their present fleets and other factors. A major stumbling block for Hope Town’s cart expansion is the lack of parking area at the entrance to Hope Town’s heritage district at the Post Office. Hope Town’s Councillors were concerned that more rental carts will compound this acute parking problem. It was also conceded that a lack of rental carts is stifling tourist growth on Elbow Cay. Furthermore, government’s restrictive policy on rental plates is causing homeowners and businesses catering to visitors to purchase carts and include them as an added benefit to house rentals or marina visitors.
Twenty to thirty additional parking spaces have been approved to be constructed near the Hope Town Post Office between the road and mangroves behind the school. When this is completed, it will help somewhat with the parking problem.
A Hope Town Councillor has been advancing money for gas purchases by the police. A car was purchased with insurance and licensing paid by Council and assigned to the police for their exclusive use. Ownership was retained by Council so the car cannot be used elsewhere. However, since the police do not own the car, they are prohibited from buying fuel for it. The Council member asked to be reimbursed and have a procedure put in place so the car can be fueled. Initial experience suggests gas expenses may be $80 – $90 per month. It was agreed to reimburse the Council member for the fuel.
Approval was given to Sunset Point for its $35 million development on Elbow Cay’s White Sound across from Abaco Inn. Documents showing ownership of the filled area beside the road were provided allowing the residential development to go forward.
Administrator Maxine Duncombe announced that Nassau is sending an assistant administrator, Marlon Leary, to work with her and better serve the expanding workload of Central Abaco.