NIA proposed pier stuck on first step

The Nevis Island Administration Mosquito Bay pier that was supposed to be completed by August has still not completed Step One with the Department of Physical Planning.

The Observer visited the Department of Physical Planning on Tuesday and was able to view the plans for the proposed pier at Mosquito Bay, but understands that it has not been approved as yet. The proposed plans submitted was the first step in any development, which is then followed by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

According to the proposal plans, the construction of the pier will lead to 60 new jobs, directly and indirectly, including engineers, architects, labors, material suppliers and so on.

The minister in charge of the project and area representative, the Honourable Alexis Jeffers, boasted of the completion of the pier during the Culturama season ahead of the opening of the Park Hyatt in St. Kitts.

According to a press release from the Nevis Island Administration, the NIA has sought to provide safer facilities for people traveling to St. Kitts via the growing water taxi service on the island. The new pier is to be constructed at Jones Estate on Oualie Beach on the northwest coast. The pier will be a 100-feet by 10-feet pier and will be managed by the Nevis Air and Sea Ports Authority (NASPA). The cost of the pier is EC$5 million, which includes the purchase of lands at EC$3.5 million. The project is funded by a grant from the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation.

According to the proposed plan submitted, the funds will be used in “the construction of the pier, pier building, breakwaters (if required) and other site work expected to take place between June 2017 and August 2017. The pier would then be open for use in either late August 2017 or early September.”

The proposed pier concept financial projection is estimated to bring in revenue of C$3.8 million over a period of five years.

“Direct revenue that is said will be generated will be from merchandise sales,” the proposal stated. “The spinoff revenue is lift/haul out/launch fees and the dry land storage and boat yard facilities, docking fees, charter fishing boats and water sports, fuel/oil sale and pump out service. The success of the pier will rely on the ability to attract and retain customers. As with most high-end recreational pursuits, many customers will not appreciate the high capital cost of constructing the pier or the cost to properly maintain the facility. It is therefore extremely important to provide quality service at a fair price and in a friendly manner.”

A number of residents on the island, along with nominated Nevis Reformation Arty candidate for St. James Virgil Brown, have made objections to the pier, saying the location of the pier will destroy the last family beach on the island.