Candidates oppose dump in Bodden Town

Bodden Town Forum Group main

Bodden Town political candidates were united in opposing a waste management facility in the district at the Chamber of Commerce candidate’s forum on Thursday. 

Environment Minister Mark Scotland, who is running for re-election with the newly formed People’s National Alliance, said he did not and had never supported the concept of a “dump in Bodden Town”. 

The existing proposal pushed by the ruling government, of which Mr. Scotland has been a part for the past four years, involves bringing a new waste management facility to Midland Acres, close to Bodden Town. 

And while the two independent candidates and the representative from the Progressives were clear that this should not happen, voters who attended the forum could have been forgiven for leaving the Bodden Town Civic Centre unsure of exactly where Mr. Scotland stood. 

Though he began his remarks by indicating he agreed with his three rivals, he defended the government’s actions and insisted that maintaining the site in George Town was not an option. 

“What was being proposed was a waste management facility, we made a proposal for that, we said studies were going to be done, one study is complete another, which is a technical review, is still on the way,” Mr. 
Scotland said. 

“With those studies in hand, government, in consultation with the public, can make a decision on what to do.” 

Concern over the waste management facility proved to be the hot topic of the night for the audience, with all four candidates drawing loud applause for statements against a dump in Bodden Town. 

Osbourne Bodden, a candidate for the Progressives, pointedly targeted Mr. Scotland for his apparent support of the Midland Acres plan. 

He said there was something “inherently wrong” with the way the deal was done. 

“The minister there is part of the administration that allowed this to happen,” Mr. Bodden said. “He is the member for Bodden Town, he failed his people and the UDP has failed this country in being unable to find a solution to the waste management problem.” 

Vincent Frederick, who led the campaign against the dump in Bodden Town and is now running as an independent candidate, reiterated his opposition. 

“We have a prison in Bodden Town, we have a rehab centre in Bodden Town and the only major project that our representatives can bring to this district is a dump, I say the people deserve better,” Mr. Frederick said. 

“The only dump that is happening in Bodden Town is that we are going to dump the people that tried to bring a dump into Bodden Town.” 

Independent candidate Arnold Berry said the facility at George Town could continue for another 15 years. He said the best option for the future 
would be to redevelop that site. 

None of the three candidates who opposed the Midland Acres plan outright, offered an alternative suggestion other than continuing at George Town or “looking at other alternatives”. 

Mr. Scotland warned the situation in George Town was an “environmental disaster waiting to happen”.  

He said a study by the previous Progressives’ government had shown it would cost $100 million to rebuild the facility and an additional $25 
million annually to operate it. 

“They have been saying that (it should stay in George Town) over and over again but no one says where we are going to get the $100 million from or the $25 million to operate it,” he said. 

In a feisty but good natured debate, the four candidates took questions from the Chamber of Commerce and the audience. 

All four highlighted creating jobs and empowering small businesses as a priority. 

Mr. Frederick said rezoning some of the land would help businesses develop. 

“We have surpassed West Bay in voters but we have failed to develop the district to go along with that growth. 

Mr. Bodden said taxes and red tape needed to be cut for small businesses. He also argued for new investment in Bodden Town including a multipurpose sports centre. 

Challenged, along with the rival candidates, on where the money would come from, Mr. Bodden highlighted waste and corruption in government. He also said he would consider privatising the turtle farm. 

Mark Scotland said the current government had invested in Bodden Town and would continue to do so, highlighting a five-star hotel project as a possibility for the future. 

Arnold Berry said Bodden Town needed more small tourism business, such as parasailing and Jet Ski rentals. 

Mr. Berry also highlighted renegotiating the agreement with the Dart group of companies over West Bay Road as a priority. 

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  1. Listen up, people, this Waste Management Facility in Bodden Town, is another way of these Candidates looking votes. Another foot ball field using the Dump as the ball. I hope the people of Bodden Town do not believe what any of them are saying. These are the worse set of candidates that could ever come of Cayman. Those same persons who are against it now, mark my words, if they get into power, the first thing they are going g to do is complete that dump in Bodden Town, and it does not matter what group they are from. How can they sit in the forums and people listening to what they are saying.

  2. No matter who takes charge the Bodden Town dump will materialize unless the CIG can magically find over 100 Million dollars to fix the GT Dump, the UK does it or some godly savior lands on Caymans shores and is willing to spend his own money to fix all Caymans issues while asking for nothing in return. Every candidate know that none of these things are likely to happen and Darts offer is the only realistic one on the table.

    Again, another campaign season with all talk and no answers.

  3. What Bodden town needs is more tourism type businesses like turtle inn . Bed and breakfast style small hotels and allow them to be on any property in bodden town to breakers. We don’t need a dump.
    The rehabilitation center should be in Little Cayman where the individual can feel that they have left and started a new life. New people new friends take them away from the stress.
    We need to be sure that the new representatives are really for bodden town people. Bodden town has a lot of older people who can barely make ends meet. But they are proud people they are not going to beg even if they are hungry.
    All one has to do is go to their house and see in their kitchen or what they wear when they are not in church.
    The last 2 representatives of gov’t didn’t do anything for old people . He only wanted to do something for athletes .What about old people ? Why should they beg? They definitely can’t get a job. People are working till they died 75-85 years of age what a disgrace. Not saying they can’t if they want too. But some don’t want to Some have too.
    How will the youth have a job if the old don’t retire.So only basketball and football is the future of our children?
    I say to you if retire people can make 3000 per month they will definitely stay home or enjoy their last days with other activities that may well benefit the community.

  4. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again -ALLOW A GASIFICATION PLANT or better yet, a Plasma Gasification Plant to be located at the existing dump, they will take in and create syngas generated electrical power from all present and future waste streams. This will not use the landfill any more. the location – proximate to the CUC and already central to the island is ideal. Let the operators Mine the existing dump carefully. There is a company on island ready to do this. WATs – part of the Cayman Special Economic Zone there is a Plasma gasification Plant Operator APP, currently operating in EU and mining a dump in Belgium, that may consider it. Let the professionals do the work, have the government monitor for environmental safety.

  5. Coyote, you clearly read all the APP rubbish that another news service published and never bothered to check it out properly.

    Bottom line on Plasma Gasification is that if it works it is pretty inefficient and requires large amounts of outside power to run it. The primary role of the process is really destruction of hazardous waste not WTE. It is relatively untested technology and if it doesn’t work (as an example due to a power outage) the fallout could turn large areas of Grand Cayman into polluted uninhabitable wasteland.

    This is not a viable option.