PPM call for details on dock

| 31/05/2011

(CNS): The opposition has called on the country’s premier to spell out to the people what exactly he proposes to do in connection with the proposed East End Sea Port development and, in particular, if he plans to bring the law the developer seeks in order to start the project to the Legislative Assembly any time soon. In the wake of the Throne Speech announcement that government would be going ahead with the project this financial year and the claim in the developer’s EIA that some 1500 acres of land at the location in East End will be part of the development zone law required to facilitate the project, the PPM said the people need to know what is going to happen to their land, their homes and their community.

Opposition party members were out in force on Monday evening (30 May) at an East End public meeting, getting behind the East End and North side MLAs who have so far led the charge against the proposed commercial sea port.

There were well over 80 people at the meeting, at which almost everyone agreed that they would support Arden McLean and Ezzard Miller and do whatever it takes to stop the development, against which, it appears, the majority of people in both the East End and North Side districts are staunchly opposed.

Discussing the content of the recently published EIA with his constituents and the details of the proposed development zone law, which is now beginning to cause real concern as the 1500 acre zone includes many local houses and farms, McLean said the premier needed to tell the people of East End what he planned to do next.

According to the EIA, the developer requires new legislation to create the development zone which will take the site for the project outside of the requirements of the planning law. Of the many issues this raises, McLean pointed out one of them was to close off the normal avenue via the Central Planning Authority for people to object to a development.

The legislation has been drawn up by the developer, who says it has been given to Cabinet for approval and creates a “new zone and grants approval to the developer for the construction of the sea basin” that will be the first phase of the project, which is expected to last several years. The law will also allow the development corporation, which will be in charge of the project under the law if it is passed, to develop and pass bylaws to govern the management of the development zone and “these laws will be enforceable and carry financial penalty if broken,” the EIA reads.

The designation of the zone will also exempt the developer from tax and duty on any goods or materials to be used on the site for development, operation, maintenance or improvement of the zone, which undermines the claim that the project will boost government coffers.

The PPM representative for the district said that he was composing a letter on behalf of the district this week asking McKeeva Bush to spell out his intentions in the face of the local opposition, and depending on the response he would be co-ordinating the next move in the campaign to halt the project.

Joined not only by the independent member for North Side, Ezzard Miller, McLean was also supported by the current and past opposition leaders. Kurt Tibbetts spelt out his own opposition to the project, stating that despite having an open mind when he first heard about the proposal, subsequent meetings and revelations had convinced him that the developer intended to construct an enormous marl pit and not a port. The developer “has only given a commitment to dredge a channel and the port basin, nothing more,” the former leader warned as he pointed out that the Cayman people would be the ones paying for most of the infrastructure on this project unless another investor was found to do the associated upland development.

Alden McLaughlin echoed McLean’s sentiments about the need for the premier to give the people of East End clear details of what his plans were for the new law and the project in general now that he appears to have given consent in this year’s Throne Speech.

“The premier needs to come clean and tell us what commitments have been made to the developer (Joseph Imparato),” he said. “The government has heard the opposition to this project and the people of the community are vehemently objecting yet he appears to still be going ahead. This is not the way that democratic government should work. We cannot have eight or nine people deciding what the future of the country is going to be without listening to the people.”

McLaughlin said he too was willing to be at the forefront of a blockade of the islans' capital if that is what was needed to show government the depth of opposition in the community to the development.  “All of the opposition is solidly behind the efforts to stop this mega quarry,” the opposition leader added.

In the wake of the publication of the EIA, the environmental concerns about the threats to the water lens, the reefs, the natural habitat and the risk of flooding have raised real concerns. During the meeting McLean and members of the audience noted that a lot of the information that seemed to form the basis for the EIA was incorrect. The storm surges were significantly underestimated among other issues, which included misunderstandings about the use of the reefs by dive boat operators and references to quarry in the area where, in fact, the East End quarries have been closed for the best part of a decade.

The EIA spells out a number of major negative environmental impacts, and although it offers suggestions for mitigation, in most cases the mitigation falls far short of making up for the significant losses. During the meeting it became apparent that the key issue in connection with the development, which was articulated by Ezzard Miller, is that the negative impacts are extreme but the benefits appear to be negligible and there is no compelling reason to create a commercial port in East End when the one in George Town is running at 30% capacity.

Full EIA available here 

Category: Science and Nature

Comments (52)

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  1. SMB says:

    I think the East End project will not make an appropriate port for Grand Cayman but it may have interesting international implications. I say no to touching the water lens or the area above it and leave a large chunk of intact forest and I mean a large chunk and I will consider listening to talk of a small quarry to fit a barge. No trucks moving Cayman goods, tearing up our roads and increasing our cost of living. We don't want to hear about that right now. Maybe start off by asking for a lot less and build trust, talk more about small cruise ships and things like paying for the bridge up front.

    On the North Sound I think it is time to look at this proposal carefully. Do not write it off. Do not listen to any proposal about the east side of the North Sound. Make sure you look and see what you want before making decisions. Ensure that costs of the existing port fees are reduced by a third, or held the same for the next five years. We are currently the most  expensive or close to the most expensive in the Caribbean.

     

    Not good…not competititve. The trucking needs to go. We need ship to warehouse directly. We pay over a million in trucks alone. No good, add fees and insurance and repairs and staff..no good. Bring our fees down. PPM don't write off everything, people need to work. Capt Bryan I love you but they have already torn up the Western Side of the Sound and silt already poured out through those western channels and I watched the coral turn bone white from Tarpon Alley on down in the late eighties and early nineties, and we need to extend the runway and we are a maritime people. Look in the rear view mirror, look at the seafolk in your history, they are not all a bunch of neckties. I am not taking political sides and I am on no side, I like to be on all sides. I love the environment. I don't want to hurt the environment and it necessary find an appropriate balance and I lean towards the environment.

     

    People need to work and right now the world is artificially propping up their economies with liquidity. Take some of this liquidity before the well starts to tighten up. Position yourself so you don"t need to hire a bunch of others long term, but you can heat up your economy with your ports of entry when you need to. Ports are like taps, they are useful mechanisms for economic growth and cooling. Take a look at an all weather, cost reducing port, on the west side of the Sound. Make sure the western side of the North Sound is appropriately defended from ship wake from SafeHaven on down to the Airport and the developer should probably pay for for some, or all of this. Make sure there is some public space of about three acres for the people, and at least 400 yards of sea wall for fishers and other subsistence types in the George Town area. 

    Don't write everything off without looking. People need to eat and not all are all up in the offices, some like good honest hard work on the sea and on boats and thingslike that. Keep the numbrs down and our future bright both of you.

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    If the East End Quarry goes ahead, then even more than now, Cayman will resemble a Swiss cheese. I believe we should give consideration to renaming our island. Perhaps 'Big Cheese Island' would do, especially as we are run by one. 

    The environmental impact study amounts to discussing the effect of shooting a horse through the head. Sure it won't do any damage to the rest of the horse. If you remove and displace up to 500 acres of old woodland and all the life it contains, along with the very finest part of Cayman's iconic scenic coastline at Breakers, then however you play with words, the area is gone: just another bubble in the cheese.

    "Blessed are the Chesemakers?" I think Monty Python got it wrong on that one.

  3. Reality Bites says:

    My term limit will be up before this starts.  So I don't care what he does.

  4. Whats Best for Cayman says:

    No schools so where's the money??

    Govt says they have no money to build schools.

    IF this is true, where will they find the money to build a new port, widen and pave roads, pay people for their land they need to acquire in order to widen the roads, etc.???

    Are we all aware that the cost of all imports, particularly food,  will significantly increase due to the trucking/shipping/gasoline/infrastructure factors??

    A whole new road will also have to be built for the EEnders, more so than all others, to travel around this development so basically they would have to drive around this port, which would possibly take them deep into Nthside/Queens Highway and then drive back out again before they can travel into town/work.  The cost of gasoline/the burden of travelling will be significantly greater for them.  They are almost isolated as it is now, but can you think of how many EEnders you will see in GT or on the WB roads on the weekends?  Or in the supermarkets? Or attending local fuctions?

    No doubt govt will want to increase import duties to pay for the conversion of a quarry into a port so there's no mistaken about the cost of living increasing!!

    Then factor in the the governor's announcement for more salary cuts, job redundancies  This will only mean more home forclosures, jobless citizens  and very possible escalation of crime.

    It would be a wonderful miracle if we ALL could work at the new port but that's just not a realistic factor so once the development has been completed (if we ever can get it done) how many "new" jobs will this create?? How many graduates will this project employ?

    Is this another short-term fix that we will end up paying thru our noses  or will this be another uncompleted construction disaster that will end up in our Courts with the govt being sued which will cost us tax paying citizens 10 times more??

    Notice I havent mentioned the environmental destruction that would affect our agriculture or the frest water lenses that many Caymanians used and depend on for either agriculture, farming, drinking, washing, etc.  This is yet another serious consideration to factor into the cost equation.

    So tell me, Where is the BENEFIT of having a new port in such a delicate environment? How would truly BENEFIT from this? Can the damage be undone if it proves to be a disaster????

    No-siree-bob!!  Its no going backwards in this situation!!

    WHO is our govt thinking about??  WHO is being considered here??  Themselves or the present and future citizens of Cayman??

  5. Libertarian says:

    I hate to admit it, but sometimes I have to prove myself wrong, and shun away ego. After weighing both sides of this debate on CNS and around the island, Alden Mclaughlin's inquiry is an inquiry that I too must share:

    What is the governments role and outlined plans with the proposed East End Sea Port development?

    And another pertinent question:

    Does the developer, Joseph Imparato, has a plan B to complete the East End Sea Port as he claims, if he gets no support from a future government?

    But the first question with no answer, is very irritating. The UDP government remain in silence. The Governor spoke, and our expectations are raised as to who, what, when, where, and how after learning that this project should begin this year! 

    What is the government's role?! 

    What are they proposing to do next?!

    [Cayman is waiting]

    At first I was all for this project because I am not against people doing their own thing, their business adventures, and making monies from it… but more and more, as a libertarian, I am not seeing this project being in the best interest of the people of the Cayman Islands.

    And what will top the cake, what will break the camels back for me, is when they will say that they are going through (at full speed) with the development of the East End Sea Port. Bear in mind two things worth considering:

    1. The Environmental Impact Assessment is self-explanatory, the development will cause a great loss of wild/marine life, shrubs, and vegetation, and for what price?  Joseph relocating the sensitive life forms of nature and marine life???  That is not happening. You just can't easily replace certain species of wildlife that has adapted to a certain natural environment! 

    2. This will create a larger government, a more bloated civil service, increased duties, fees, and permits on everyone to maintain the civil service and government operations, and this will reduce private businesses in the Cayman Islands because of increased cost. Cayman, we are broke and this will cost us millions of dollars. And I don't think Joseph would be so stupid as to make millions of dollars off of selling rocks and then spend the same millions of dollars on building an East End Sea Port for the Cayman Islands. In the first, he doesn't live in the Cayman Islands, but I understand the United States. We will be the ones left paying for this Port whilst we have one in George Town already!  

    And don't get me wrong, I will always uphold principles of lassez fare Capitalism. But once you have government or government in coalition with a rich man, saying that they can better the economy, I am very wary about that. Also, learning that he will be getting concessions and special exemptions by this government. I can't help but not smell rat!

  6. Lazarus says:

    And it came to pass that the Mac-Philistine broadcast to the masses , and Yea did he tell them that he had come to set them free from George Town.  By moving Heaven and earth, the Holy Port would be rebuilt in his name, a full ten leagues eastward.  And he sayeth unto all who would listen, for the land would run with milk & honey, and a great host of container trucks at breakneck speeds.  And all of his disciples in the House nodded in agreement from within their slumber.

    But the two chieftains from the Sea and from the East were agin the plan, and gathered scribes from across their great land to set their mark on a course of opposition.  Around the camp fires there were songs, fry fish, and tall tales, and the story of the little man.  "Who shall be our champion ?" was the question oft asked, by voters and by status holders alike.  But verily I sayeth unto you, somewhere out in the fields, the Duke of Hezzard made plans to wield his slingshot, to bring down the Philistine XXXXX

  7. Starving & Hungry in East End says:

    This is nonsense that the dock is only being used 30%. 

    We have a HALF of a dock in Hog Sty Bay and the other HALF of it in Industrial Park. The PA has to lift each container a minimum of 6 times, sometimes more, from the time it arrives until it departs. That can be cut to 4 times if a real port existed coupled with less than 70% of the trucking it now does. 

    The PA would cut its costs by 33% on container movements alone by having a real port to operate.

    The shipping costs to Cayman will drop as we will be able to have bigger ships that no longer have to do one-way empty trips. They can come here then onto another port before returning to Miami.

    Example:

    $50,000 value in container in Miami, $1,500 shipping to Cayman, $11,500 CI import duty gives $63,000 landed. Trucking in town $75 or $230 to East End. 

    Total Cost $63,075 in town or $63,230 from East End Port to town—basically NO DIFFERENCE IN COST to merchandise or consumer!! AND the Port Authority has less costs. The cost would not be affected even if transport from EE was $500. 

    All of that will result in CHEAPER costs on island not more expensive ones…I say bring on the East End Dock to save us some money in this recession. It would be shortsighted to wait 10 years to START to think about what we are going to do about a new dock.

     

     

    • Strangers in the Night says:

      I agree that we must S.T.O.P the massive quarry in East End, but if we do not also S.T.O.P the dictator we will all be doomed, & our beloved islands Cayman will continue on the fast path to destruction. We cannot survive 2 more years of this administration, they must be STOPPED now.

    • BORN FREE says:

      I wonder what position the premier will now take. He told us on several occasions that if the EIA report came back saying that the East End Port development would be harmful to the environment he would NOT support it. Well, the report has now come back & it points out in no uncertain manner that this development WILL harm the environment, that it is NOT in the best interests of Cayman, & will most definitely hurt fishing & diving (tourism) in the surrounding area. It will negatively impact Cayman, & the cons will outweigh the pros. I now fully expect Mckeeva Bush to live up to his promise & publicly inform the people that he does not support this project. He promised us that!  

    • Anonymous says:

      I can see from your post that you have no idea what you are talking about!

    • JJTA says:

      I do not think that you are who you "purport" yourself to be.

    • The lone Haranguer says:

      Cold hard facts, I like it, I cannot wait for the knee jerk emotional responses from the haters, Good work man.

    • Anonymous says:

      a beautiful christmas story.  Dhanka santa klausin

      • CC says:

        Yes, we really need a crusie ship dock in George Town or the cruise tourists who may turn into stay-over tourists and/ or future residents will not come, that is a simple fact…the tenders must go.  We need a SIMPLE long pier, (like mexico) not a retail nightmare to be greedily carved up by political cronies.  

        As for the EE dock, I cannot see how it will improve our economy.  This is the study I want to see! Show me the 36, 48, 60 months return on investment and beyond.  Who will get these jobs? **we have to stop thinking that construction is an arm of our economy! Only a few buddies get these contracts and once it is built (or repaired like hurricane Ivan's building boom) we will have the greedy developers looking for MORE projects.  Clearly not sustainable with very limited land and resources.

        Folks, for jobs we need to train our youth in skilled professions (and yes, tell them to sharpen these skills in the UK and EU as their passports allow) better education and just stop the greed, rape, and pillage of this poor island.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are forgetting that the developer is not doing a port which is his own admission. He is digging a hole to create a harbor basin and handing it over to the country to spend at least one billion dollars to build the infrastructure and complete the port. Please explain where the country is going to find a billion dollars when we can’t find the money to complete our schools.

      Now show us where we save money?

  8. nauticalone says:

    Once again;

    No to any port (really a quarry/big hole) in East End.

    It's only a selfish/greedy proposal for money for a few, resulting in permanent destruction of this small island.

  9. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    This is fantasy – no dock of this magnitude is going in East End, this is just a part of this government's grand scheme to gain few ??????? 

    They know very well a dock this size isn't going anywhere but yet they still promote it like it's in the best interest of the majority of Caymanians. 

    This project is so far from reality, it's no joke and now the developer has convinced himself it can be done with this 5th grade EIA, I wish he would really be honest and say what his main objective is here – it's the Quarry in my mind and thereafter we the people and our future generations will be stuck with a big pit in East End just because I few thought it was a good idea. 

    Why can't the developer put up a guarantee that the port will be built after, he's made his $$$ from the quarry? I suspect this is because there is no intention to bulid a port.

    They just continue on their campaign to "divide and conquer", which is typically the MO of the rich divide the people and then conquer them, but please people don't fall for that narrow way of thinking, do what's right for you and your family. 

    Soon you will see the light just wait and see this elected government fall with this madness which is planned for East End, Mr. Bush will be the first one for his "don't care attitude".

    We want development but "sustainable development", McKeeva and his fries should get a greater understanding on projects of this size and study the impacts their decisions will have not only on us now but future generations as well,  before they go shooting off their mouths and accomodating the rich without the peoples consent, they need to think.

    • Whatisname says:

      McCarron you maybe shocked to read this, but I doubt  McKeeva wants to see a dock in East End or to dredge a channell in North Sound. But he has his obligations too. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    There will be no dock in East End. Maybe the Premier could instead tell us what's happening with the cruise ship dock in George Town.

  11. B. B. L. Brown says:

    O.K.   I stick to the issue at hand.   We don't NEED it.  It will enrich a few select people, but certainly not help the average Camanian. 

  12. Anonymous says:

    I guarantee 99% of the naysayers have not read the eis report…..

  13. petermilburn says:

    I agree with you Chris but having said that the EIA is written in such a way that many people(including myself)cannot understand ALL that is being said.What is needed is something written in laymans terms that everyone can then form an opinion on this contraversial(sp?)topic.I feel that much of what has been written in this EIA will be very hard for many to form an educated assessment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately, that is what an EIA is…..you all asked for it and it was delivered.

      EIA's do not say complex things in layman's language. They say complex things in complex language and there is no right or wrong. All they are a decision making tool, many times just a design tool. No more, no less.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Ah yes the issue at hand, presumably that's the big hole that Mr. Imparato intends to dig in a pristine natural environment. If the figures in the article are correct and the current dock is only using 30% of its capacity there is no sensible reason for the big hole to be dug. Now we are all aware of a selfish reason – making Mr Imparato even richer but what should we do look out for national interests or one man's?. Maybe its just me but I like East End the way it is, there is nothing sacred when it comes to the grand plans of these megalomaniacs. Leave it to Ryan the North Sound would be turned into a cloudy mess, leave it to Dart and Lund Seven Mile Beach would look like South Beach. All the while an accounting firm will produce a report painting a rosy picture of just how much much money will be injected into the economy, well my friend, let's get down to the issue at hand-that big proposed hole, well some of us just don't think that any amount of money justifies the destruction of a very special part of our island.

  15. Fiction is stranger than truth says:

    We will never be able to get out of the party politics frame of mind as you said, because everytime the Premier and his ministers get on TV/radio  they are castigating the PPM. He is dragging us into the "party politics frame of mind" The Premier cannot spare the time to properly  address the country without dragging the PPM into the fray. He was on CITN last night with his phoney pius self and it was all about the PPM. I would like him to please explain to the people of this country exactly what the FCO is telling him.  If I remember correctly the agreement that he said the FCO accepted last year determined that there would be a deficit this year of  34 million dollars and the plan was that within 3 years the country's budget would be in surplus.  If the FCO was O.K. with that then why are they so upset about 8 million deficit in this year's budget?  That makes absolutely no sense.  Please tell us the truth Mr. Premier.  UDP diehards please Impress on your Premier and his Ministers that the rest of us on this island  will always demand honesty and integrity instead of washing machines and refrigerators!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Why should he get exemtions from taxes and duty?

     

    Can I write a law that exempts me for duty?  Where do I submitit?

  17. Old Sea Captain says:

    What utter madness. Even if this is built it would be unusable for a port about 80 to 90 percent of the year. The large ocean waves that roll unto the coastline at this location would continue into this basin and with the water having no outlet the conditions would be like inside a washing machine.It would be impossible to tie up a vessel in this man made 'lagoon', and no insurance company would cover a vessel under these conditions.

    There is only one location on this Island to build a proper dock and that is in the north sound.

  18. Sav/New says:

    11th and 12th Sept. 2004 

  19. Anonymous says:

    In the absence of a meaningful performance bond relating to development of the port facilities, this project can only be viewed as a get rich quick mega-quarry which will enrich one or two at a huge cost to the rest of us.

    • Len Layman says:

      This is very true.  If the port is what this is all about, then the developer should have to post bond that will assure a  port will be built not just a hole.

      He has no intention of building a port.  He intends to dig a big hole and sell the fill from it. Nothing more.

      If government feels we need a port then lets see the plans.  Lets see the long term financing for it. Let government give the people "bond" of some sorts that includes the financing of the FINISHED port and  guarantees the completion of this great plan.  And on top of that lets put it out to bids.

      This is all smoke and mirrors by the developer (and our"leaders") to to make millions and leave us with a gaping hole in the landscape of East End.

      This is really a test as to whether the current elected government represents the wishes of the people or not.

      Sadly, I am afraid I already know the answer to that.

  20. Jackson says:

    Ah hush!  PPM and Ezzard would have been happy to be in UDP's place!  This is all about politics and jealousy, and Joe a business man looking out for himself, is smack right in between them. At the end of the day, who is thinking about Cayman's future?

    • Sachamo says:

      No need to metion that when Ezzard was out of a job he was quiet happy to court the UDP but as always a lepper never changes his spot, and a snake can never be trusted.

      • Anonymous says:

        It always amuses me to see the quality of the diehard supportfor the UDP. Try to distinguish between "quiet and "quite", and "leopard" and "leper" (note spelling). 

        Ezzard ran and was elected as an Independent, not a member of the UDP.  Given his early campaign announcement that he felt he was better able to work with the UDP than the PPM I doubted that he was truly independent but he has proved me wrong. 

        In true UDP fashion you are attempting character assassination of a man for no reason other than that he has proved to be a formidable opposition to the UDP.

  21. Chris says:

    Before everybody start blabbering on this site, the EIA assessment is available on this site. Please get the facts right before you comment. And please for God sake, get out of the party politics frame of mind, character assisinations, and let's stick to the issue at hand.

    • Islander says:

      CNS should also come with the facts. It states in there article:  "Tibbetts warned that the developer “has only given a commitment to dredge a channel and the port basin, nothing more,” the former leader warned as he pointed out that the Cayman people would be the ones paying for most of the infrastructure on this project unless another investor was found to do the associated upland development."

      If this is true that the developer is ONLY COMMITTED to dredging and nothing more, where are the facts?
       

      • Anonymous says:

        The facts are in the developer's own EIA. He says nothing of how he's going to develop a port, just that it's a possibility – that someone else could build a port. Read it. Read between the lines. Check out the viewpoint "The 'big hole' absurdities".

        • Anon22 says:

          lol…. that is not a factual answer. Show us the EIA statements you are talking about to read between the lines…. LMAO  :0)

    • Anonymous says:

      I read it, and it's rubbish. Arden is right. No one with an objective view would ever support this project.

      • Anonymous says:

        And that is why it will be supported by CIG or has the name changed to BIG yet?  (Bush's Islands Government).

    • I Care says:

      Well, well just by your comment here says a lot . I am not a party supporter and will never be and I DO NOT SUPPORT this DOCK …. this will kill many more people in the long run , flooding etc than it will ever employ. just dont build it why do Cayman need what 4 ports is there something that we don't know????? and these people and a few government fat boys know…. is there a line up of supper tankers, cruise ships etc waiting to come in to dock? Why Cayman? are we the only fools in the Caribbean? wake up its is GREED GREED GREED.

    • Pending says:

      The first fact I would like to point out is that after having Mac state categorically on numerous occasions leading up to the result of this report (and future reports concerning other supposed projects in the works), once again he has blatantly lied to our faces.

      If you need evidence, refer to the previously aired town hall meetings, speeches and newspaper articles where he promises that if these reports come back with results showing that the environment will be damaged then the projects will not go ahead.

      It si plainly obivous that he is on his / his friends agenda only, and doesnt care about anything else.

    • Wait Watcher says:

      Chris since you've read EIA report, would you be so kind as to summarize the negative and positve parts for the benefit of some of us who are not good analyzing such reports, but are good at blabbeiring.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then the issue at hand is what the "Premeir" plans to do, if in fact it is the "Premeirs" plan and if not whos, and when and if he plans to tell anyone.  No need to "blabber" if he just does his job right and on time.