The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), because of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) is often in an unenviable position.
Over the years, especially the last five decades to so, it has been fashionable for the political controllers of the country to dodge certain infrastructural duties for East and West Grand Bahama, and allow residents of the island to hold the GBPA responsible. The GBPA does have the quasi-government jurisdiction for Freeport, but only so.
Now, through the years, GBPA has ensured that infrastructure spilled over into both outlying settlements, carried the burden of expense, and has not asked for a dime in return from the central government of the day. Of such instances, generally, residents of Grand Bahama, have no knowledge. So, the GBPA gets blamed, when it should, and, when it ought not be.
The GBPA is between a rock and hard place.
Post Hurricane Dorian, the GBPA has an extremely tall order to deal with, as it seeks to lead the recovery initiatives.
We recoil at the sight of the International Bazaar, the Princess properties and some of Harcourt Holdings, the derelict Ruby Golf Course for instance. The GBPA gets blamed, but property rights are giant factors in the scenario.
Yet, we look to the GBPA to be the catalyst for setting things in order in Grand Bahama.
We point out today, another major concern.
East of the Casuarina Bridge are scores and scores of homes that have been devastated by Hurricane Dorian. They amount to one great big eyesore. Many of them were under-insured and those who occupied them, we understand are not inclined to return to the habitats. Settlements will be made with insurance companies and banks, and homeowners will take checks given to them and start over, somewhere else.
It appears then, that a lot of derelict homes will continue to severely taint the once pristine, upscale residential areas.
We could very well be looking at areas similar to the state the International Bazaar is in.
What will be done?
What can be done?
Should this situation fall in the lap of the GBPA, alone?
That won’t be fair, would it?
However, the HCA is a peculiar document.
The GBPA is expected to come up with strategies to grow the entire island; also, to, on an ongoing basis, bump up the Public Treasury through certain revenue-generating sources; to work towards making the free port area more economically vibrant, and by extension the rest of the island.
The GBPA is in a peculiar position for sure.
Residents watch to see just what unfolds.