Cat boaters win in LA
The Hurricane Ivan-damaged building used by the Cat Boat Club next to the Lobster Pot Restaurant, will not be demolished, Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts said in the Legislative Assembly Friday.
Mr. Tibbetts made the remarks in answer to a Parliamentary Question from West Bay MLA Cline Glidden asking for an update on the site.
Because it had been severely damaged after Hurricane Ivan, Mr. Tibbetts said both the Lands and Survey Department and the Public Works Department had recommended the building be demolished because it was ‘a dangerous structure, beyond economic repair and was being used for illegal purposes.’
In addition, Mr. Tibbetts has said in the past that the location of the building made it difficult and dangerous for people to launch their boats using the ramp.
‘The recommendation also included the site be paved and be used as additional car parking for the benefit of the public using the public [boat] ramp,’ Mr. Tibbetts stated.
Cabinet agreed with the recommendations and instructed Lands and Survey to start the process of tendering for the demolition of the building.
However, the Cat Boat Club publicly objected to the demolition of the building on the basis that it was of historical and architectural importance to the Cayman Islands.
In the end, the Government agreed to allow the Cat Boat Club to come up with a plan to save the building.
‘Cabinet then instructed Lands and Survey to stop the process of tendering [for the demolition] and enter into a licence agreement with the Cat Boat Club so that they could clear up the debris from Ivan, secure the property from trespassers and illegal uses, and use what remains of the property temporarily while the Cat Boat Club produced its detailed plans for the future of the building, together with a programme and costs, either to rebuild it in the same location, or move it to another position on the site.’
Cat Boat Club president Jerris Miller said architect Rupert Ackermon has already produced full drawings for the refurbishment of the building at its same location.
Mr. Miller said the part of the building that overhung the road has already been taken down.
‘We did that to address the concerns of the Government with regard to visibility [when using the boat ramp],’ he said.
Mr. Miller said the refurbishment would cost between $150,000 and $200,000.
‘We’re actively seeking some private funds,’ he said, but noted that there was one problem.
‘We currently only have a 30-day renewable lease, and we’re getting some resistance from investors because of the short time on the lease,’ he said, adding that the Cat Boat Club is now trying to get a 15-year lease on the site.
Mr. Miller said the National Roads Authority had requested a bus stop be put on the site, so Mr. Ackermon had worked one into the plans recently.