Development yet to begin at Boston beach
One of Portland's popular tourist's attraction sites, Boston beach, is schedule to undergo major development through funding from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), which could probably boost the parish's already fragile tourism sector.
But while the contract has reportedly gone to tender, the wait for some, including jerk pork vendors - appears to be far too long, as their livelihood remains in doubt as a result of the unsightly state of buildings on the beach property.
"We were told by a representative of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) of the expected development," said Trevor Smith, who operates a stall on Boston Beach, and who also acted as a spokesperson.
Closed to the public
He added, "That was like almost seven months ago. A team from NEPA came round about July 2014 and explained to us that it was necessary to locate a septic tank on the beach property to remove the sewerage, before the start of any development. The pit
(septic tank) was located, and the sewerage was removed. Shortly after, a sign was
erected indicating that the beach was closed to the public. The sign was, however, removed some months ago, but up until now no development has started."
The Boston beach is a popular spot for not only tourists, but also surfers, who reportedly travelled from as far as Germany, England, and the United States, to ride the high waves, which can be rough and rugged at times.
The bathroom facility, a changing room, and a restaurant on the beach property were severely damaged during the passage of hurricane Gilbert in 1988. The badly damaged roofing of the bathroom and changing room remain unattended to, after 28 years, although repairs have been done to the roof of the restaurant.
Councillor for the area, Derron Wood, told The Gleaner yesterday, that he was told that work was to commence at the start of the New Year, but since then there has been no definitive word from the powers that be as to when the actual work will begin.
"I welcome any development, especially at this time at Boston beach," commented the councillor. He added, "I am hoping that the vendors and others, who have cared for the beach over the years, will be engaged, and will also be an integral part of the development and discussion. Like the residents in Boston, I eagerly await the start of the actual work."
Boston beach is located approximately eight miles, east of Port Antonio, the parish capital, and is also boosted by one of the world's most famous cuisine and delicacy, Boston jerk pork.