New North Side farm roads in the works

Details aired at Aug. 25 public meeting

MLA Ezzard Miller explains a feature of the proposed farm roads to Patricia Ebanks, while Nicholas Ebanks photographs a section of the map. - Photo: Carol Winker

Land owners in North Side have signed petitions for two farm roads to be built in the district. MLA Ezzard Miller told constituents last week that he expected to deliver the petitions to the appropriate ministry by Sept. 2, asking for the roads to be gazetted.

He said he was “fairly confident” that the gazetting process should be finished this calendar year.

The signers of the petition agreed to waive any right to financial compensation for 15 feet of their land along the boundaries where the proposed roads would run.

In requesting the National Roads Authority to construct the roads, they offer for free the rock removed. However, they ask that jackhammers be used to remove the rock instead of dynamite. They further request that topsoil be left on the owners’ properties.

Both new roads could begin near the bottom end of Hutland Road, in the vicinity of Mister Willie’s Farm (also known as Whistling Duck Farm), which is run by Willie and Zelmalee Ebanks.

The first priority is a road that would go south into the area known as Forest Glen.

Twenty-one land owners signed this petition.

The second priority is for a road that would go west to Round Caye and then turn north toward Driftwood Village, Mr. Miller explained. This petition was signed by 53 land owners.

The gathering at the Craddock Ebanks Civic Centre last week Thursday heard that Dart Properties owned some of the parcels involved and had agreed to sign the petitions.

Some people did not agree to give up 15 feet, Mr. Miller noted. As a result, with the way the roads are recommended, not every land owner will get access to their property. However, there will be a framework for “off shoots.” It should be easier to approach one or two land owners for access once the main farm road is in place, he suggested. Mr. Miller was to present the petitions to the Ministry for Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure.

George Smith, president of the Agricultural Society, emphasized the importance of opening up farm roads so that Cayman could become a little more self-sufficient in providing foodstuffs.

The meeting was also attended by staff members of the Agriculture Department and Kerry Forbes, administrative coordinator for the Agricultural Society and ministry.