DNA hits out over FNM priorities for Abaco

By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter ljohnson@tribunemedia.net THE Democratic National Alliance's Central and South Abaco candidate Roscoe Thompson says Abaco's latest infrastructural projects should have been the Government's top priority for the island during their term in office. The statement by the Abaconian followed after Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and his Cabinet Ministers boasted at the FNM rally on Thursday of the nearly completed $27 million airport terminal, the proposal of a new hospital and a completed administration complex for all government offices in a single location. Speaking on the terminal and hospital developments yesterday afternoon, Mr Thompson said: "My understanding is, in priorities, it comes first. "The airport and your hospital are your first two because with them you're allowed development and growth. Without them, you're not going to get investors to come in. The government complex could've waited a couple years." Mr Thompson contends that there was a less costly alternative for the government to constructing a multi-million dollar complex. "They could've gone and purchased Dove plaza and Memorial Plaza for $5 million and saved the Bahamian people $22 million. Why are we not stopping and thinking of what we are doing? We're just borrowing and borrowing and borrowing." The DNA candidate admitted that the new airport terminal is a "good thing," but said there was not sufficient planning into its location on the existing grounds. "I think they have to take another look at it because it is so close to the car mat. Why wasn't it put further back you know, for expansion in years to come?" Mr Thompson was not the only resident who felt the two major projects should've been top priority. A souvenir shop owner who wished to remain anonymous said both were promised nearly two decades ago but still appreciates that it's underway. "I'm all for it," she said. "They've been promising Abaco people that airport terminal now since I moved here in the 1990's and its finally coming around." "As regards to that new hospital, Abaco definitely needs it because we have quite a few li'l government clinics and stuff, but they are not enough." Byron Glinton, director of reservations and leisure sales at the Abaco Beach resort, welcomes the new developments with open arms and said they were a necessity for a boost in business and comforts for tourists and locals. He said the new terminal is a "vast improvement" considering "the number of visitors that come to the island compared to other islands. Having an airport that have visitors outside after checking in, in all sorts of weather, this new one, it's a vast improvement. "Travel should be an enjoyable experience and the airport is really a living room to your country. So if you make your living room extremely welcoming and nice, you're going to be looking at overall, a very satisfied guest experience." Regarding the hospital, he says it's welcome news to locals, visitors and second home owners who have complaints and fears that there is no hospital to treat them if they fall ill or cannot afford the cost to travel to Nassau. "To hear the news from Dr Hubert Minnis that they're going to have a medical functioning hospital is welcome news." "All of that is going to be strong for the local economy and it's going to give people a lot more confidence." Mr Glinton says the business at the resort has improved in the past year and "revenue has definitely improved compared to last year and the rest of the year is looking extremely positive". The resort is looking forward to rewards from major fishing tournaments scheduled in weeks to come and other group conventions booked to be hosted at the resort. "The group business was not as good as it was last year, but we are showing good signs."


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