Residents may be seeing what looks like the beginning, but the Sea Cows Bay Harbour project has been progressing for a while now, said Third District representative Julian Fraser at the launch of his re-election campaign at the Ellis Thomas Downs Saturday evening.
Mr. Fraser said while “nothing was done” on the project under the former National Democratic Party government, work restarted again in 2007 with the production of construction documents for the bulkhead, “finger piers,” and plans for electrical and drainage works.
Bulkhead work is ongoing at the site next to the Sea Cows Bay desalination plant, Mr. Fraser told the crowd at his launch, adding that seven contracts have been awarded for making the bulkhead’s panels and pilings.
Mr. Fraser, the minister of communications and works, has represented the Third District since 1999 and has also served as minister for natural resources and labour.
He told residents one project that his detractors have called the “million-dollar wall” — a sidewalk and retaining wall between Sea Cows Bay and Hannahs — was an “economic stimulus for the district.”
Twenty-eight contractors built the project, and each employed at least three workers, Mr. Fraser said.
He went on to say that critics of the project are wrong about the cost.
“The project was completed at a cost of $573,861, far lower than the so-called ‘million-dollar wall’ that people talk about,” Mr. Fraser said. It was also a complicated project, requiring road widening and negotiations with four landowners for the use of their land, he added.
In July 2010, Mr. Fraser told the House of Assembly that the projected cost for the project was $475,500, but that more would have to be spent to repair road damages caused by construction.
Another initiative, subdividing Nibbs Estate, has been a goal of Mr. Fraser’s since at least as far back as 2009, when he proposed the establishment of a lands committee, the candidate said.
“I am pleased to report that the minister for natural resources and labour has received the report from the Nibbs Estate Land Use Committee. On Wednesday, October 5, 2011 the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands approved the award of 60 lots to first-time homeowners, among others,” Mr. Fraser said Saturday.
The candidate also listed other projects he said were completed during his time in office, such as overlaying many roads, widening others, improvements at the Ellis Thomas Downs and burying high-voltage electrical cables. Mr. Fraser also said he commissioned the Sea Cows Bay water plant, which produces 30,000 gallons of water per day.
In addition to the harbour project, Mr. Fraser said he has other improvements planned for the district. For example, he said he would like to see a road that leads from Pleasant Valley up to Sage Mountain to encourage more tourists to visit the national park, and that the Pleasant Valley Bridge will be “re-engineered” with funds from the Caribbean Development Bank loan. He also said work is about to begin on resurfacing the Sea Cows Bay basketball court.
Residents can read more about Mr. Fraser’s plans on his website, www.fraser.vg, which includes information on the Sea Cows Bay Harbour project, the Hannah sidewalk project, the Albion Bridge project and why the government chose Biwater.
‘This town here’
Premier Ralph O’Neal, the VIP leader, told the crowd at the launch the party has been taking care of the Third District for years, while opponents have “just wake up.”
“You have an institution like the Virgin Islands Party, which has done so much for this country, including this town here,” Mr. O’Neal told the crowd, which responded by blowing horns and cheering.
“So my dear people of the Third District of Sea Cows Bay, we will be dependent on you on the seventh of November,” Mr. O’Neal said.