North Sound dock really a quarry: McLean

Plans
to put a channel in the North Sound to accommodate mega yachts and build a
cargo port in East End are really an excuse to build a quarry, Member of the
Legislative Assembly for East End, Arden McLean told legislators Friday.

Mr.
McLean, taking part in a legislative debate, said he had seen plans for the
development and believed that the construction of the dock and the roads that
would need to be built to carry huge container trucks to and from George Town
would mean enormous amounts of aggregate would be necessary.

He
said the landowner, Rob Imparato, had shown him plans for the development,
which Mr. McLean said showed there would be a 600ft channel that would extend
1,500 feet with the channel going 2,000 feet past the main shoreline, next to
100 acres of government land.

“That
will go straight up to government property, and government would put all their
facilities there,” he said.

Mr.
McLean said the landowner had told him that 14 or 15 million yards of material
would be dug up, which the MLA said would cost $7 to $9 per yard to take out of
the ground and which would be sold for $19 per yard, creating a $100 million
profit.

He
insisted the project was an attempt to “mislead” the people of Cayman. “It’s a
quarry, and it’s about money, and it’s about profit. That’s what business is
about,” he said. “It will not be done at the expense of the people of East
End.”

“When
I asked about the road to facilitate this big development, he said government
would deal with that. Now, I wonder where the government will get $150 million
to build that road up through there?”

The
former minister for works, who had been in charge of roads in the previous
administration, said a new four-lane highway from East End to George Town would
have to built to accommodate the container trucks.

“These
trucks are extremely large. You’d need to fix the road in such a manner that
they do not destroy it, to accommodate axles with 10,000 and 20,000 pounds of
weight on them,” Mr. McLean said, adding that some of the trucks carried
between 60,000 and 80,000lbs, compared to ordinary cars that weigh 2,000lbs.

The
legislator, who has previously said that he would lie down before a bulldozer to
stop the development of a cargo port in East End if his constituents opposed
it, said he had calculated that container trucks would make 150,000 trips a
year from East End to George Town.

Premier
McKeeva Bush said in his budget speech last week that there was a private
sector plan to build a cargo facility in East End and this would soon be discussed
in Cabinet. He said: “A channel for the North Sound is an absolute necessity if
the country is going to ever get business from the mega yacht industry. Bearing
this in mind, government will be seeking investors to do a necessary channel.

“Public
discussion will take place; environmental impact adhered to, so that any agreed
work can keep damage to the minimum.”

Responding
to Mr. McLean’s comments on Friday, the premier said he had not seen any full
plans for the cargo dock in East End.

“Until
I have substance to talk to the good people of East End about, I cannot go to
them about the dock,” Mr. Bush said. “I have not seen any full plan on my desk.
I know about the idea, I have done background work on it, but I have no plans
on my desk.”

He
insisted that he would consult the public about the dock once plans were in
place.

Mr.
Bush said Cayman has a chance to attract transhipment business, adding “I like
to believe that putting shipping here could be a third leg of the economy in
this country.”

1 COMMENT

  1. I’ve been to Cayman several times. George Town could be so much more pedestrian friendly without the shipping terminals smack dab in the middle of everything. Imagine getting the heavy industrial operations out of downtown! I would be ashamed of any politician that threatened to stop or delay any sensible project that could eventually create thousands of jobs. Maybe Mr. Mclean has a better idea for creating good jobs……but unfortunately we’re not hearing any job creation ideas from Mr. McLean. He reminds me of a mother to a small child, aways wanting to say "No, No, No" regardless of what the idea is.

  2. Risk of being left with a hole in the ground is a valid point and something I have mulled over also. It would be essential for regulators to work out a strategy and the developer a surety to show commitment
    to a finished project.. The funds made from the excavation could be placed in a project fund site, with government having some over watch and approving authority to insure monies in the fund are being spent on the project and not a villa in Mexico. But’ Mr. Bush is waiting for the plan, I am sure he has some of the same concerns and much more consulting authority including Mr. Mclean, looking to our national interest.

  3. I think we all need to realize that the opposition is just that ‘Opposition’. Which means that they will oppose any and everything the current the government brings to the table. Politicians are politicians plain and simple. If Arden were PPM and Mac was the opposition it would be Mac opposing the port. Everyone needs to step back and wait for the facts to come out, if they don’t come fast enough then that’s what we should demand, the facts. In order to make a realistic judgment you need to know all the facts. The facts I know is that Cayman needs to develop industry that will bring in money and tourism is the biggest one in the Caribbean. No one wants to see this beautiful island and the great lifestyles hear destroyed. I myself am a North Side property owner and have invested every penny I have into owning it. I love the quite peacefulness of the east and north side of the island, but I do realize that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. It costs a lot to preserve paradise. For all we know at this point the East End port could bring much needed revenue to this end of the island and although it’s a big project it is still only a fraction or all the undeveloped land on this end of the island. We all need to be open minded about this, if it does happen we need to ensure that is really does benefit Cayman and it’s people. If it doesn’t happen then we need to come up with other ways to compete with other Caribbean destinations or we will soon find ourselves on the losing side or of the table.

    I am sure the developers are aware of the issues such as potential storm surge and hurricane damage and I am sure they would not invest so much into a project that will be on the front line of this. We should be asking what they have in their plans to protect against these types of things.

    Let’s wait for and demand the facts, then we can all judge for ourselves instead of just listening to political campaigning which is all is, remember it’s their job to make themselves look like a better choice than the current at any cost.

    Do you really think that what motivates them is the future and what’s best for Cayman and it’s people or just getting votes and getting into that big job. It’s the same ole game in politics no matter what country.

  4. I have to second Caymanian-on-guard’s viewpoint, I think he hit it right on the nose. I do believe this Port could work well for Cayman but it can also be a nightmare if mismanaged. Let’s make it happen and make it happen right.

    If Joe wants to do it he should put his money where his mouth is, and our leaders need to come together and make sure it actually get’s completed in a way that will benefit Cayman. There is one thing I do not understand is why not consider sub contracting out the work of digging the hole to local Quarry companies who will hire Caymanians to do the work and would make use of the fill elsewhere in Cayman. There are a lot of properties that need to leveled and filled. Give property owners access to the fill at reduced prices. Fill in some of the low areas of the island that can be used for things like parks or nature preserves. There’s also a lot a vegetation that can be relocated to these areas in lieu of just pulling them up and killing them.

    Let think creative people, this could actually work to our benefit at not much cost to us.