Port protest moves north

| 07/12/2010

(CNS): Following the successful launch of the petition against the proposal to construct a commercial sea port in East End by the opposition MLA Arden McLean on Saturday, the campaign moves to the district of North Side tonight. The independent MLA Ezzard Miller will be hosting a meeting spelling out his objections to the proposed port which is also likely to have a direct impact on his constituents. Miller has been clear in his opposition to the port from the start and has said the developer Joseph Imparato has no proper business plan for the project. Tonight Miller says he will be pointing out the numerous shortcomings of both the proposal and the recent study by Deloitte.

Miller said the first and most obvious criticism of Deloitte’s economic report is that the excavation cannot possibly support the level of workers suggested. “Evidence from our own existing full time quarry operations indicate the real level of manpower that would be employed and it is a long way from the 200 or so cited in that report,” Miller said.

The meeting will be at the North Side civic centre this evening at 8pm and Miller is expecting a significant turn out. The meeting hosted by his fellow MLA McLean last month in East End attracted hundreds of people for across Grand Cayman none of whom appeared to be in support of the project.

Although government has not yet given official approval to the plans submitted to Cabinet by Imparato, the premier has said on numerous occasions that he is in favour of the development. Support for the project from the UDP administration is likely to be boosted too in the wake of reports that negotiations with DECCO the potential developer and the government over the length of the lease have collapsed and governmenthas moved on to talks with the second bidder.

Last week the premier’s press office issued a statement on behalf of McKeeva Bush who was travelling in the United States at the time asking the people to “become informed about the proposed East End Seaport” as the country needed a long term plan for a cargo facility.

The issue about the country’s need however, is exactly one of the reasons why Miller, McLean, Charles Clifford and other politicians are objecting to the port as no proper assessment of the cargo needs for the country have been done. “Rather than a business plan, what we have is an often controversial investor who, having bought large tracts of essentially useless land, has now decided he can make money by quarrying the rock and shipping it over seas,” the statement said. “The people should make sure they have the facts on the proposed port before making up their minds about it, and all the facts are not known yet.”

The developer who has previously been involved in condo developments on Seven Mile Beach recently announced is proposal for a commercial seaport, the details of which are now available online at eastendseaport.com. The developer proposes to create a Commercial Cargo Port, home porting for cruise ships, a trans-shipment facility, a mega yacht marina and Hydrocarbon Storage Terminal ie gas and oil.

Besides the potentially catastrophic environmental impact on both the upland landscape and the ocean in the area, there are also very real concerns about the contamination of the local fresh water lens with sea water as a result of the channel and basin the developer proposes to construct. The developer says he plans to cut a 1,600 ft long by 600 ft wide channel to 55 ft below tide level and a basin area in land of 4 million square feet. This has also raised alarm among local mariner experts with regard to storm surge during future hurricanes.

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  1. Anonymous says:


  2. nauticalone says:

    No! to port proposal in East End.

    Too much industrial congestion in a prestine environment.

    The GT port was located where it is by our forefathers for good reason….it on the lee (not windward) side.

    There is no good reason for this project. It is only about greed by a few and for only a few….and will permanently detroy this little isand.

    No! to this selfish and shortsighted proposal!

  3. NJ2Cay says:

    I’d like to hear more, with the east end being so undeveloped. What do the people think should be done with all the untapped land in that area.

    Should we just leave it alone ?

    The economy is going to pot crime is rampant and there are no new job or small business opportunities getting created. So people where do we go from here ?

    If we are not willing to build up to compete what are we to do to survive ?


    • NJ2Cay says:

      Well now, it seems obvious that noone has an answer or even a idea, it’s typical for people to object to things that they can offer no alternatives too…

  4. whodatis says:

    "Economic wastelands".

    This is the new trendy term of the day as apparently, this is what our Eastern districts are considered to be – at least in the eyes of the minority.

    Interestingly, even though it was before my time, and my mother was but a young girl – this was the same term / notion awarded by Caymanians to beachfront land decades ago. (After all, one could not grow cassava and yam thereon, furthermore it was quite hazardous come hurricane season.)

    Therefore, when a foreigner came and offered a few peanuts for said land Caymanians gladly obliged. Flip forward to current day and we have the multi hundred billion dollar strip internationally known as Seven Mile Beach – with hardly any Caymanian ownership at all. Such is life – no good to cry over spilled milk.

    Common and average logic would suggest that a proposal such as the "East End Seaport"would be a good thing considering what we have in SMB today.

    However, the eye that has traveled via books, media, experiences, actual travels, outward opinions etc. realizes that common and average logic is to be avoided at times like these.

    The developed areas of Cayman (SMB / GT) like most other Caribbean destinations have been whore-ishly’ developed to the point of over-congestion, over commercialism and has proven to be more of a detractor than actually attractive.

    A wise and visionary eye understands that everything in this world cyclic, and we are seeing a world-wide emphasis on "sustainability" in terms of development, or better yet – non-development wherever possible.

    Let us not allow shallow greed to blind us to the blatant truth that is staring us in the face. None of the arguments in support of constructing such a massive and imposing development at the proposed location can be rationally defended.

    Let us not make the same mistakes that our beloved and well-intentioned forefathers made so many years ago. That would be such a shame and insult to their legacy.

    "No port in East End."

    • NJ2Cay says:


      From what you are saying it seems even more obvious that Caymanians need to start buying and developing land of their own before foreigners come in and take advantage of the opportunities that locals pass up. It’s a shame that most of the money is going into foreign pockets. But can we really blame them for taking the initiative when we chose to do nothing.
      The East End such as the Brac and Little Cayman are practically the only untapped resources left and most or it is government or foreign owned. High rock for instance has some of the most spectacular views in the Caribbean but how many Caymanians chose to take advantage of this asset. Not many, but as soon as a foreigner tries to capitalize on it everyone scream foul. They couldn’t buy it if we owned it.
  5. Anonymous says:

    For those suggesting that any opposition is politically motivated the following report of the Panning Dept. back in 2004 might shed some light on the matter


  6. A welcome proposal says:

    I did not miss the point….The point is the debate for the location of the port/ cruise berthing facility… We all know the hard cold facts….The civil service is a political dumping ground for party cronies and no sitting politician has the guts to make the financial decisions that will save this island. The business sense decisions that need to be made will happen after the people is willing to elect politicians that for one term actual do something. Until this happens it is politricks as usual.We have become a system of career politics where insanity has become the norm of the day, doing the same old stuff expecting different results………. People wake up…. party politics is ruining yah country……….

  7. A welcomed proposal says:

    I am also in favor of waiting to see the facts, this is a project we need to fully understand before we jump on the oppositions band wagon. Apparently they have not received an offer for their approval on this project as yet, and this is all about personal political mileage.We need to consider our long term advantages to such a project. The current port if expanded in its present location poses a traffic logistic problem. How do we afford to build new roads to move the increased volume of tourist and vehicle traffic this expansion will create? This already over congested town will become a nightmare to our valued stay over tourist and local residents, who currently avoid shopping in town on busy cruise ship days. The cargo port and movement of trailers through the center of town is also not good.I believe having a port facility that will improve these areas and offer space for expansion in years to come is a sensible and ambitious venture. The opportunities this development will create to offer local new business is endless and we have to stop being so closed mined every time a new alternative is offered. Why is no opposition being offered against a company who already owns too much of Cayman and has a major manopoly of business and will own the port for 99 years, when this proposal will be owned by the government? Is it because we again fail to see the real picture here, politicians looking out for their pockets. The whole of the eastern districts will have more job opportunities, business and centers will be needed for this location therefore creating land sales and government revenue. The spectrum will be open to all that want to invest unlike the proposal proposed in expanding the George Town port facilities. People wake up.. If you do not understand make an effort to get informed and have Ezzard and Arden tell us their alternatives to this proposal before killing this project.

    • SEAMAN says:

      I still cannot see a good reason presented by anyone why the project should not go on.

      Mr McLean you have not given us a good/clear enough reason for me to say no.

    • Anonymous says:

      I applaud your rational approach to this project. It seems that many prefer emotionalism to sound consideration of what is best for the future of the country.

      Unfortunately political posturing seems to play a part in this as well as you said.

      Until people accept that the 1970s life in Cayman is gone and it isn’t coming back with any standard of living attached.

      To believe that downtown George Town can remain the port that serves the country is short sighted. Separate the port from downtown and move the oil terminal out of the residential area where it doesn’t belong. That is an accident waiting to happen.

    • Libertarian says:

      You like so many others miss the point!

      The Noble Alternative is to trim away the expense-fat from one of the largest governments for its island-size in the Caribbean. Government is a very fat gal. In order to maintain herself, each time she wants more of what she can get. She wants to increase the fees, the permits, the licenses, and the import duties. She wants a bigger Police force, more workers in government – a larger Civil Service with higher salary pay. Show me any countryin the world that prospers where its government has a rule or dominance over the private sector? The only Socialist state that is booming is China, but the rest has failed. Hence, everyone in Cayman’s private sector, has to suffer because of government. She will soon become oppressive and soon you will hear the word TAX!

      No… my friend, the Noble Alternative is not for us to make money all to feed government!  Rather, it is for government to reduce its size, responsibly privitise, and allow businesses and local establishments to find the economy AFFORDABLE in order to grow and create more jobs!

      You may say that the East End Port will create jobs!  But I don’t think Caymanians want to be mere laborers under the belt of government and one man whose name is Joe!  Caymanians are much more than that!  We are about starting our own businesses and competing in the world. We are about innovation and being creative. 



    • Anonymous says:

      I notice that the only considerations in your post involve $$$$ and you can not understand anything else. You believe that it is not good to keep the port where it is and therefore it follows automatically that moving it to EE must be a good thing.  There are obvious problems with this EE port project yet you have not considered one of them, instead suggesting that any opposition must be politically motviated. Don’t you understand that putting a port in EE will mean that all imports must then be trucked into town and that this will not only add to traffic congestion but also to the cost of goods? Don’t you get it that the port threatens to seriously damage our environment?  It is your kind of mentality that is ruining this Island. 

      What alternatives are you talking about? There has been no demonstrated need for a new port.  Didn’t you hear that we have 15,000 less people in the population than we had 2 1/2 years ago?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Clarification please.  

    Is the "Developer" (Mr. Imparato) committing to and putting up a bond to complete the port as shown on his web site? Or is he only committing to digging the hole in the ground where a "port" could be built by someone else at a later date and or at an additional cost?

    Who will hold title to the land after the hole is dug.  The Government or the "developer".

  9. 5% says:

    did Emperato and Mr. Bush eva think about upgrading this Spotts Dock? that makes more sense than to just abandon it. I hear tourist complain on how deserted it is, i think spotts dock will help us all out and its already there just little bit of cash needed to get it fully developed.

  10. whodatis says:

    ‘The East’ is and will prove to be the last saving quality of Cayman today.

    Many of our visitors – as well as locals – are shocked at the prospect of "development" of this sort making its way to the pristine and tranquil areas of the island.

    The last time I checked one of our major industries was "Tourism".

    Are you finally going to listen to our tourists?

    Or will we sell out for the short-sighted and myopic vision of this proposed project.

    For any properly functioning and rational person this ought to be a simple decision.

    "No port in East End."




    • Anonymous says:

      if east end is so great right now why isn’t it swamped with tourists 12 months of the year????

      the reality is it is an underdeveloped economic wastleand with some of the lowest real estate prices on the island……

  11. Anonymous says:

    protests move from the economic wastelands of east end to northside…….

    keep it up boys! your doing a ‘great job’ for these areas…..

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well Chucky wanted his march, he only needed two other fools to march with him.

  13. NJ2Cay says:


    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.
    • Anonymous says:

      Yea good idea, wait and wait until the development is finished and its too late. I hope you like cement with your snapper because thats what they will taste like when these jokers are done.


    • Anonymous says:

      "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".

      You are attempting to trivialise what is a very serious issue by relegating it to politicking. It is simply not the case that either Arden or Ezzard is opposing "any and everything the current government brings to the table".  For example, Arden has been generally supportive of the Shetty Hospital project. Ezzard has, to my surprise, performed his role as the Independent member very well indeed. He has not gone out of his way to be confrontational with the government but has scrutinised their plans and policies.

      "No one wants to see this beautiful island and the great lifestyles hear destroyed".

      Well then why do you attribute unworthy motives to those who wish to preserve it rather than acknowledging that this port threatens exactly that?  Instead you are content to say that you are "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".

      Let me get this right, we are to trust that the developers have already considered and taken account of all the environmental issues?  We should not believe that our representatives (who are sons of the soil with a vested interest in not only providing employment in their respective districts but in preserving its pristine environment) have Cayman’s best interests at heart or care about its future, but we should trust the developers whose motives are only to enhance Cayman? No unbiassed person could make such ludicrous statements. The developer has one interest only – PROFIT.  

      What we need is an INDEPENDENT, comprehensive environmental impact assessment for the entire project. There is no plan to obtain one and that is one reason why the petition is necessary. The facts will not magically come to light on their own. He who pays the piper calls the tune. The developer can obtain an environmental impact assessment that says whatever he wants it to say.  

      I think you have a vested interest in seeing this go forward.  

    • Anonymous says:

      I see the UDP apparatchiks are out in force!

  14. Libertarian says:

    Well… what shall we do to boost the economy?

    I have always said and said before that instead of focusing on Revenue, we need to be focusing more on cutting our Expenses. There are only two central ways to balance the books: Revenue Increase or Spending Decrease! 

    I recommend government at least, acknowledge 90% of the Millers Report. Reduce its size, privatize or establish public-private partnerships, and hence cause all fees, licenses, duties, and permits to be lowered, giving the private sector a chance to grow. 

    I recommend they focus more on encouraging the free local market to thrive and Caymanians to start and maintain their own home-grown businesses. Then I sincerely believe you will see the economy grow and jobs created.

    Apparently, we are so caught up with just the money-making. My people, the problem is – I feel that the money is going into government coffers ONLY to increase their spending and size.

    This will do us no good!