Thompson Wants To Pursue Controversial Waterfront Development

Ahreefa Bacchus, Journalist
November 07, 2018 9:33 am AST
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Third District candidate, Arlene Thompson is hoping to pursue the development of the Sea Cow’s Bay waterfront area; however, this is attracting mixed responses from residents.

During a radio show last night, November 6, Thompson said she has already begun brainstorming ideas pursuant of this goal, as part of her Economic Development Plan.

“We have our whole waterfront that can be developed, but of course it has to be done in a balanced way with the environment. So I have been canvasing ideas from the residents,” she stated.

“Some of them, they want to see a full-fledged development of the water area in Sea Cow’s Bay,” she continued. However, she also admitted that some residents are not in agreement with the complete development of the area.

She is adamant that such a move is necessary for the advancement of the district.

“We just cannot depend on Government for everything. In Third [District], we have to see how we can do things for ourselves,” she said.

Several years ago, current District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser got involved in a project to develop the waterfront in the form of the ‘Sea Cow’s Bay Harbour Development Project.’ At that time, he was serving as Minister of Communications and Works.

However, that project was the subject of great controversy as it relates to management and transparency.

In some cases, allegations were made of residents not being purview to the plans for the development project, which had included commercial buildings, commercial spaces, dining establishments, jetties and other infrastructure.

This development project had featured in Fraser’s manifesto for the 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections.

It began in 2002, and became the subject of an audit, which was completed in 2013, followed by a discontinuation of the project.

The Audit Report had highlighted and brought to fore damning discrepancies.

Featured in the concerns that had been raised was the occurrence where the brothers of Hon. Fraser, were issued $90,000 in contracts under the project for incomplete works.

There was also the issue of lack of proper accounting for funds and the substantive exclusion of the accounting officer from the process.
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