The Team Unity government seems to have started a war with bar owners and operators at the popular hang-out spot at Frigate Bay, The Strip. As a result, questions have now surfaced demanding a breakdown of the major financial investment made by the Timothy Harris-led government to renovate the area.
Following notice of a major increase in the lot rental fees for bar owners in the area, persons have also begun to question the government and their plans to advance the overall outlook of the beach.
This decision, as recalled by the proprietors, their employees, and patrons, was disclosed by the Minister of Tourism Hon. Lindsay Grant in 2016, when he stated that the government has invested EC $7.4 Million towards the project.
Accordingly, Grant said that the “replenishing and re–energizing” of the area would have begun in 2016 and would include but not be limited to entrance and exit roundabouts; paved roads and sidewalks with wheelchair access; pick–up and drop off points; unit entrance porticos; garbage enclosures; toilet blocks; gazebos; landscaping; street lights and turtle friendly beachside lighting; board walks; designated parking; signage and improved security including CCTV; outpost management office; marsh enhancement features; jogging trails and beach reclamation; and replenishment and development of the dock and the jetty that are presently at Frigate Bay.
Unfortunately, almost two years after the major investment was made and the monies made available to execute the project, the Ministry has yet to execute close to a quarter of their originally disclosed plans. To this date, The Strip has seen the construction of only two round-a-bouts on the western and eastern ends of the beach, along with a paved road and sidewalk on the left.
There is now widespread speculation on the Ministry of Tourism, that there has been some mishandling and mismanagement of the funds. Bar owners have noted that this speculation arises out of what seems to be a trend by the government in various ministries.
The increase in lot fees is now being deemed as a scheme to regain all the monies that may have been squandered at the hands of those in government.
Bar owners and operators continue their attempt to schedule a meeting with the tourism minister.