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Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources’ officials in response to Potter’s Cay Vendors Association on renovation plans, have dismissed the notion that nothing’s been done to renovate Potter’s Cay Dock.

However, some Potter’s Cay vendors like Dwayne Bastian of Tall Boy’s Conch Stand  said they are taking matters into their own hands.

“We’ve been waiting now for seven years on the previous government, [and] the government now that is in power. 

“In that seven years nothing has happened. They kept on saying that they were going to renovate the stalls, break down all the stalls and rebuild them, but as far as I’m seeing nothing has happened as yet,” he said. 

“My shop is in a bad state. It is not up to the mark to actually feed people from; for them to come and eat conch salad.

“These stalls are not only stalls these are restaurants and bars. So I couldn’t go another day feeding people out of the state my shop was in,” Bastian added.

Mr. Bastian said once the work is completed, he would have spent approximately $30,000 to fully rebuild his stall. 

However, the government has advised  stall owners time and time again not to invest any significant funds into renovating stalls, but to wait for the official commencement of the renovation program instead.

Mr. Bastian is not alone in this matter. Jerry Rolle, owner of M&M’s stall  said the time frame the government has given is virtually impossible. 

“They come with this plan that they want a board walk, and they want to put us over the sea. 

“They’re trying to lie to us [and] tell us that the project is going to take up to eight months. It’s impossible,” he said.

“You’re going to trench out a harbour, pave roads, fix current hole, and build stalls in eight months’ time, I would like to see that. That must be a miracle coming from heaven, because there’s no company that can do all of that in eight months’ time.”

“I’m not going to lie, I wouldn’t want my stall to break down, not form my style, not from my view. 

“If the government wants to help me, they could bring 50 carpenters, 25 on each side and stalls which need the little back piece, they can come and help.  

“Help fix up these stalls by digging in their pocket, so we could repay them. But if they fix these stalls as they claim, break it down to do all this work, how much time do you think that’s going to take to really fix these stalls back, because it’ll be more than three years,” Rolle said.  

The minister last met with vendors in July 2017, where they were informed of the government’s plans for the renovations at Potter’s Cay.  Since then, the government said those plans have not changed. 

However, any changes to plans would be communicated directly to the stakeholders affected. 

Meantime, the ministry said it is hopeful that once renovations are completed, stall owners and patrons will be proud of the hard work that went into reforming Potter’s Cay as a culturally important market and tourist attraction.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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