Beautiful Virgin Islands

Monday, Oct 02, 2023

Road Town should get gov’t-funded board — Harrigan-Underhill

Road Town should get gov’t-funded board — Harrigan-Underhill

The BVI’s capital city should adopt a new approach that will transform the way it is being administered as part of the Fourth District, particularly in the manner that it promotes tourism and stimulates economic growth.
That was the vision expressed by the National Democratic Party’s (NDP’s) Fourth District candidate, Sandy Harrigan-Underhill, who contended that the BVI sits at a crossroad that will determine its destiny for some time to come.

Road Town is currently administered by the Office of the City Manager and Wickham’s Cay Development Authority — a body first established by a previous NDP administration nearly 20 years ago — and that body is run under the umbrella of the Ministry of Communications and Works.

But Harrigan-Underhill has proposed that the city should instead be run by a statutory board once she becomes elected as the district representative. The board will be governed by new laws which she argued will give it the power to develop sound policies to advance the city’s plans.

“The time has come for us to adopt an approach to the management of projects and works and even events in Road Town through an appointed board responsible for the city,” Harrigan-Underhill reasoned. “Like other boards, this board would receive a government subvention and be empowered by legislation.”

According to the Fourth District candidate, that board will be responsible for managing all the projects and works in the capital city, including garbage collection, beautification, revitalisation, sewerage management, infrastructure projects, and maintenance.

She further suggested that the city’s various parks and historical sites should be managed through this approach. This will see Road Town embarking on two key projects — a Main Street preservation project and a Prospect Reef all-inclusive resort and marina project.

The preservation project will include an access road or boardwalk that connects the Pier Park to Main Street as part of a tourist attraction — a bold approach that will highlight the stark contrast between old and new elements of the city.

Harrigan-Underhill added that she envisions Prospect Reef as a golden opportunity to build a public private-partnership which can be leveraged for hospitality training for youth and other interested persons.

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