Mixed views being expressed about Queens Cove project

CONTROVERSY — There is some controversy regarding the works being done to the Queens Cove Park. Residents expressed mixed views.  (Photos by JENNEVA RUSSELL)

Currently, the Queens Cove Community Park is undergoing Post-Hurricane Matthew restoration. Although some residents welcome the efforts, views are mixed.

Minister for Grand Bahama, and Member of Parliament for the Pineridge Constituency, Dr. Michael Darville, allegedly signed off on works to be done on the Queens Cove Community Park Post-Hurricane Matthew Restoration Project.

 However, residents Alan Vellacott and David Rose expressed differing concerns on the level of works being carried out.

Vellacott had praises for Dr. Darville, but second thoughts as well.

“For the past 26 years, I have been a resident of the Queens Cove Community and while I am grateful along with many other residents for the efforts being made by the Bahamas Government, particularly Minister Darville, to clean up and restore not only the park but also the neighborhood post-Hurricane Matthew, consultation and dialogue on that matter should have occurred between us and those carrying out the works.

“Definitely, we appreciate Minister Darville ensuring that the damages to the gazebo were repaired and wood as well as other materials were salvaged but we are very disappointed that he did not speak with residents regarding the aesthetics of the community park.

“The removal of all the Brazilian Pepper, Casuarina and Silver buttonwood  trees  and  other  underbrush along the perimeter of the park has left the area completely exposed.

 “With construction of the Fishing Hole Road Causeway ongoing, to have those trees removed and visitors to the park having an unobstructed line of sight of the work in progress, there as well as at the Grand Bahama Shipyard and Martin Marietta Aggregates & Heavy Building Materials (Bahama Rock), it is aesthetically unappealing and unsafe.

“The trees and underbrush provided a buffer and protective barrier for children playing on the park. It looks terrible and the other residents I have spoken to do not approve of the current state of the park although the project is not complete.

“Those fellow neighbors I have spoken with certainly felt that Minister Darville should have spoken with us first to garner our thoughts on the matter, as most of us have lived in this community for decades and have endured all the challenges of nature and man that has affected our area,” said Vellacott.

The City of Freeport Council (CFC) along with Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) City Management are responsible for the maintenance of the Queens Cove Community Park revealed Vellacott. He claims to have been informed that neither CFC Chief Councillor Frazette Gibson or GBPA City Manager Troy McIntosh were made aware of the ongoing restoration efforts being done by Minister Darville and his team.

The CFC is responsible for modifying the Queens Cove Community Park if the need arises and an application for permits by anyone else seeking to do just that would have to be submitted to the proper authorities.

The Freeport News reached out to Min. Darville, CFC Councillor Gibson and GBPA City Manager McIntosh for insight on the matter, however no contact was made up to press time.

Troy Garvey, Queens Cove Community Park Post-Hurricane Matthew Restoration Project Overseer spoke with The Freeport News team regarding the ongoing scope of work. He said that the park had been in disarray after the storm and efforts were made to clean it up, to fully restore the park and make it more user-friendly in due course.

He said that a press briefing has been scheduled by Minister Darville later this week to bring the residents abreast of the details regarding restoration to the Queens Cove Community Park.

Resident David Rose informed The Freeport News that he has lived in Grand Bahama for more than six decades and Queens Cove for more than 30 years and unlike Vellacott, he is elated to see the clean-up and restorative work to the Community Park being carried out.

Rose expressed the view that if work is done correctly, the park would be magnificent and a great place to enjoy leisure time with family and friends.

He too was concerned, however, about the lack of consultation between the residents and those executing the scope of work. Nevertheless, Rose said he remains hopeful that indigenous trees and shrubs unlike the invasive species of Brazilian Pepper and Casuarina would be transplanted around the perimeter of the park.


Published Monday, March, 13, 2017

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