Rose Place families to move into new homes by September
by Lyf Compton
Houses for 47 families from Rose Place who will be displaced by the US$185 million port modernization project are expected to be completed by September this year.
Several contractors are involved in the project at Lowmans Bay and so far, four of the houses have been completed along with a substantial amount of the infrastructure needed to make residents comfortable.
Chairperson of the Port Modernization Project Steering Committee Laura Anthony-Browne told SEARCHLIGHT on Thursday that the Lowmans housing site is being tackled by more than one contractor.
The project will see the building of one and two-bedroom duplexes and one, two and three bedroom single houses, enough to house 47 families.
Anthony-Browne said four of the homes are completed but they have asked the contractors not to paint the outside of the houses as it is an active construction site. The tiling, painting and other inside house finishing touches have already been done.
Currently, four more units are being constructed and Anthony-Browne explained that as soon as these four units are completed, another four will begin.
“We are doing it this way because the site has limited space and you cannot have too many contractors on site at the same time. All units will be finished by September because they are not complex units,” Anthony-Browne said.
She noted that after the units are completed, they will be handed over to government who will make the decision of when persons will move in.
The housing project is a small component of the port development project and makes up just EC$4.2 million of the US$185 million/EC$500 modernization plan.
Anthony-Browne noted also that there was a cut-off date of March 31, 2019 for persons living on the beach in Rose Place to make themselves known to the government. She said a survey was done and a team identified each person.
“So having done that, there were consultations and we presented options and asked for their agreement.
“The last consultation was in July 2020 and we showed them the designs we had in mind and we asked for their agreement and they have agreed,” Anthony-Browne told SEARCHLIGHT while adding that Cabinet has the list of families and the list has been approved, meaning that the persons who will get the homes have already been chosen.
Anthony-Browne revealed also that some of the affected persons who have small businesses will get a house unit which will allow them to continue their operation.
Another aspect of the project is finding an area for the storage of fishing boats. The beach is currently used to store the boats and Anthony-Browne said Edinboro was selected by the government, but the idea has been rejected by Edinboro residents.
“We were required to meet with the host community and we had a meeting with Edinboro residents, but it did not go well and then the government received two petitions from the residents of Edinboro objecting to the plan we had in mind, so we have gone back to the drawing board and made recommendations to Cabinet looking at an alternative,” said Anthony-Browne.
She also revealed that the port modernization project manager will arrive in the country on Saturday and after following quarantine requirements, he will be on the job around the middle of March 2021.
The other team members will come on board as seen fit as the project is in the procurement stage where two companies have been selected, from a group of eight, to present a final design.
“They are supposed to submit a final design on April 16 and we will then evaluate and select one and we will negotiate and we are expecting to sign a contract by the third quarter of 2021,” Anthony-Browne told SEARCHLIGHT.