SRDF Look­ing to In­crease Reg­u­la­tion at Jet­ties

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT -

On De­cem­ber 1, 2016, the Soufriere Re­gional Devel­op­ment Foun­da­tion (SRDF) for­mal­ized the nec­es­sary frame­work (through the en­hance­ment of essen­tial ser­vices and ren­o­va­tion works) for the col­lec­tion of dock­ing fees in port Soufriere.

The re­fur­bish­ment and lo­gis­ti­cal re-or­ga­niz­ing of op­er­a­tions brought about rave re­views from the boat­ing fra­ter­nity and sig­nif­i­cantly raised the ap­peal and profile of the Soufriere Water­front.

How­ever, con­trary to the many in­ter­ven­tions for the cre­ation of a stan­dard­ized and safe ex­pe­ri­ence for vis­i­tors and boat op­er­a­tors, bel­liger­ent and of­ten un­ruly be­hav­iour from pas­sen­gers on boat party ex­cur­sions and the in­dis­crim­i­nate dump­ing of garbage on jetty fa­cil­i­ties have sig­nif­i­cantly chal­lenged the de­sired nor­malcy of op­er­a­tions.

In an at­tempt to mit­i­gate these oc­cur­rences the SRDF is work­ing closely with boat tour op­er­a­tors to bring an im­me­di­ate ces­sa­tion to these prac­tices. Ac­cord­ing to the Op­er­a­tions Man­ager of the SRDF, Mr. Franklin Solomon, “We need to work with the boat tour op­er­a­tors to en­sure that their clients re­ceive the best ser­vice at these fa­cil­i­ties and in re­cip­ro­ca­tion there is a mea­sure of deco­rum ex­er­cised by their clients when com­ing through the docks.”

The SRDF is slated to meet with all boat­ing tour op­er­a­tors on Wed­nes­day, April 26, 2017 at the Con­fer­ence Room of the Min­istry of Tourism.

The Soufriere Foun­da­tion is a non-profit com­pany lo­cated in Soufriere. Its man­date is to un­der­take so­cial, cul­tural, hu­man re­source, tourism and in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment in the Soufriere area. The or­ga­ni­za­tion, which was es­tab­lished in 1993, gen­er­ates rev­enues from its op­er­a­tional sites: the Sul­phur Springs Park, Gros Pi­ton Na­ture Trail, Com­fort Cen­tre, Soufriere jet­ties and 88.5 Soufriere FM. south­ern seashore. No one told the money chang­ers that the bar­rier cre­ated by He­wanorra Air­port would limit the north­ern spread of the town. Who cares that the west­ern part was slowly dy­ing? Who cares that the bridge over to Coco Dan and Black Bay lay in ru­ins as the for­mer SLP administration claimed it built 14 new bridges is­land-wide?

It bears re­peat­ing that one does not need to be a town plan­ner to see that the town has re­mained stunted and con­tin­ues to cry out for a vi­sion­ary leader. A vi­sion­ary leader would do what­ever it takes to ad­just any devel­op­ment plan for Vieux Fort and try to build link­ages be­tween Vieux Fort, La­borie and other cen­tres of pop­u­la­tion in the south.

I said on ‘Mr. Chair­man’ (the Dave Sa­muels TV show on Cal­abash Tele­vi­sion) that the ap­par­ent ne­glect of the en­com­pass­ing the beaches north and east of Vieux Fort? Frankly, no se­ri­ous devel­op­ment plan for Vieux Fort can ne­glect the west­ern part of the town. This is tan­ta­mount to an act of be­trayal of the peo­ple of Vieux Fort.

Save and ex­cept that omis­sion, I fully en­dorse the DSH pro­pos­als for the town. There is no plan from DSH to link the Maria Islets to the main­land. To ap­pease the voices of those who have sud­denly found them­selves friends of Maria and her hid­den little rep­tiles, ap­pro­pri­ate steps ought to be taken to dry their tears. I would em­ploy a rep­utable research foun­da­tion to re­move the little rep­tiles for safe­keep­ing in a new ne­go­ti­ated lo­ca­tion. Those who are in­ter­ested would be given free ac­cess to visit as of­ten as it pleases them.

This real pur­pose of this ar­ti­cle is to pose the fol­low­ing

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