By Monique Washington
While there has been no estimate from Minister in charge of Tourism Mark Brantley about when work will begin on the National Park at Pinney’s Beach, Carl Williams, Permanent Minister in charge of Tourism assures The Observer work will begin within 90 days, before the end of 2016.
The Observer made several attempts during several weeks to contact Minister in charge of Tourism Hon. Mark Brantley via email and other messaging services but no response has been received.
In June 2016, Minster Brantley announced that funding allegedly secured to pay for the park had vanished in thin air.
“I don’t think it’s a secret that we had funding in place that has disappeared,” Brantley commented. He said because of budget constraints they had to “recalibrate, take out some things and put in a few other things.”
At the time Brantley assured that “the public can look forward to the start of construction after the Culturama season.”
In July, in an exclusive interview with The Observer, Federation citizens Anne Bass and Julian Lethbridge revealed that Bass never agreed to fund the park. Brantley assured her that he would secure the funding.
“Anne never ever said that she would fund it [the park] from the very beginning,” Lethbridge explained. “She said she would do all the consultations and all the designs. She told Mark, she would contribute something, but she did not want to be the major funder, she did not want to fund the whole thing.”
Williams told the Observer, “At this point in time is a government-funded project.” He noted, when it comes to the billboard with the proposed picture of the project, “We will make some adjustments. How many we are not sure.”
The 14-acre parcel of land reserved for the park has been mapped out for the Pinney’s Park Project. Now for months, the parcel is home to donkeys, monkeys and cows. The initial plans for the park were announced in 2015, with construction delayed since then. In June, farmers were asked to remove their animals from the site but they have since returned.