Wooden fence irks Negril Resort Board
Claudia Gardner, Assignment Coordinator
WESTERN BUREAU:A wooden frame fence under construction at the Norman Manley Beach Park, near the Negril town square, financed by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), has drawn the ire of members of the Negril Resort Board.
According to the group, the structure is not only unsightly, but is being erected without the architectural designs or drawings being presented to the board for ratification.
Operator of the Charela Inn Daniel Grizzle stated that during the recent monthly meeting of the board, he visited the worksite to voice his objection when he saw the structure being erected in the early stages and was told by an official affiliated with the project that no changes could be done as the board had not objected in the planning stages during committee meetings.
"She said we should have objected long before and that our representatives agreed with it, and so they did not do anything behind our back. Who is our representative? I would like to know ... . You need to find out who," he told board chairman Cliff Reynolds.
"She said our representative had already decided on a wooden fence. I have always asked them (implementing state agencies) to come to Negril and do their presentations because I need to know what you are doing."
He added: "If the plans are available, what we should be asking is for the work to be halted. Nothing more should be done until we have the chance of seeing what is being offered to us, and as far as the fencing is concerned, we should ask for that fencing to halt immediately because it is not what we want. It is a waste of money and it doesn't fit Negril," Grizzle said.
In response, chairman of the board Cliff Reynolds told the meeting that he had seen no drawings or attended any meetings, related to the ratification of the project.
"The schematic presentation was the only one I remember seeing. The final drawings were never presented to the board," Reynolds said. "I never attended a committee meeting re the park. I don't know about any committee and all of that. I am surprised to hear that. As a matter of fact, two different times they were supposed to come (to board meetings) and it was cancelled."
Mary Viera of Couples Negril was among those who voiced their displeasure. She told the meeting that she was dissatisfied with the manner in which most of the projects proposed for funding by the board, under the TEF, were being implemented and that the type of fencing being erected would obstruct the view of the park and the sea from the roadway.
"Who is the (Negril) board rep on the TPDCo board?" she questioned. "... the TEF is trying to defend it, saying, 'Oh, but it was done with consultation with your community'. And how many times we have heard about consultations in this community that don't actually happen?"
But Grizzle said the best decision would be for the board to ask that construction of the structure be stopped temporarily until the matter is sorted out.
"I think the only thing we can do now is publicly ask for the work to be halted until we have some clarification because if we are not happy with what is going on, there is no point waiting until it is completed," he said.