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Chamber: Family Island infrastructure plans long overdue

A pair of Chamber of Commerce heads from Exuma and Long Island have responded to Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham’s remarks on infrastructure plans for their islands, both saying that the upcoming infrastructure plans were”overdue.” President of the Exuma Chamber of Commerce Floyd Armbrister and Long Island Chamber chief Mario Cartwright both spoke with Guardian Business recently, and are both encouraged with the future plans Ingraham outlined, but share the same view that those plans should have been in motion from an earlier time.

Armbrister mentioned that one of his major concerns is when the projects for Exuma will begin taking form, and what will be on top of the agenda.

“I think the infrastructure projects are long overdue and it’s good to hear this information because similar projects were promised before,” Armbrister said. “The one thing that concerns me is [Ingraham] indicated that whatever comes on stream will begin in the third quarter of 2011. The people of Exuma would be very appreciative if the government does these things.”These plans were revealed by Ingraham during his guest appearance on the radio station The Breeze 98.3 FM last Thursday, where he said a design team is coming to The Bahamas this month to create a design for docking facilities in Exuma and North Abaco. The team will also prepare a blueprint for a new road from Georgetown to either Emerald Bay or Stevenson.

As for Long Island, Ingraham said a number of projects are on stream for the island, including a”major”water project that will start as early as next year. The prime minister also mentioned the status of the Deadman’s Cay Airport, saying he can’t provide”anything definite”on it at the moment.

Cartwright said he is”deeply appreciative”of the government’s plans for Long Island, but still has a level of concern related to that island’s airport.

“The community of Long Island is very grateful to Prime Minister Ingraham and MP Lawrence Cartwright for keeping some focus on Long Island,”Cartwright said.”However, with regard to the development of the airport in Deadman’s Cay, attention to this issue is long overdue as this has been on the table for decades. Commerce in Long Island will remain stagnant if this is not addressed.”Both Armbrister and Cartwright are optimistic that developments for the islands they represent will get of the ground, which should provide an economic spark that they both desire.

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