#GrandTurk, Turks and Caicos Islands – Friday, June 22, 2018 – Grand Turk, during the 45-minute Throne Speech, got five mentions specifically; more than any other island in the Turks and Caicos archipelago and many would say, rightly so.
It has been challenging for the Capital of the country to say the least.
Slammed by two major hurricanes within the span of two weeks and reeling, still, from what many have cited is a sluggish pace for repairs and reconstruction.
More recently, there was an announcement that a leading commercial bank would make an exit later this year; ScotiaBank intends to close its branch in Grand Turk. And these newer challenges only compound the existing ones.
There are issues with water distribution and other essential utilities. Issues with the cleanliness of the island. Issues with public buildings and their dilapidated conditions. Issues of unruliness at the prison and how the facility can expand. Issues with a vexing spate in crime and issues with fires and the lack of a domestic fire unit to put blazes out more quickly.
Grand Turk remains though a quaint community, famously wrapped in history, the seat of Government where Cabinet meetings and House of Assembly meetings are held and where the lion’s share of tourists visit; over 700,000 yearly.
The new Investment Policy states there will be ‘a focus on Grand Turk’ as stated in the Throne Speech, delivered on Monday by His Excellency Dr. John Freeman, Governor of the territory.
It was also explained that ports works were coming and they would include Grand Turk.
“Mr Speaker the Government will complete critical maintenance and redevelopment work at the Ports and will poise the Ports for the anticipated growth in the Islands.
The Government also commits to addressing three Airports within these Islands as a matter of priority. The Government will complete rehabilitation works to the Grand Turk and Salt Cay Airports and will repair the South Caicos Tower. The Government will also commission the critical works to construct the South Caicos Terminal and Combine Services Buildings.”
Rehabilitative construction work is also promised for the Grand Turk campus of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College.
As promised, this second fiscal year for the PDM Administration will secure a fire truck for the island, which has for decades relied upon the limited availability of the airport fire-fighting facilities for help.
“Mr. Speaker, the Government is keen to equip responders to mitigate the loss of life and property, in the unfortunate event of disasters of any kind. To this end, Mr Speaker the Government will begin its strengthening of Domestic fire prevention and will secure a new fire truck for the Island of Grand Turk.”
Right now, in Grand Turk, city water is off for many residents. The Throne Speech contained some news about fixing the water woes of the Capital island.
“Mr. Speaker, the Government recognized the serious challenges in the area of water production and distribution especially of the Island of Grand Turk. The Government will address and resolve the myriad of legacy issues in their entirety over the next two Budget cycles.”