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Progress on the proposed $1m floating dock for Grand Turk still looms in the balance.



#TurksandCaicos, January 18, 2023 – Progress on the proposed $1m floating dock for Grand Turk still looms in the balance.

The lack of a public dock and a proper working ramp in the vicinity of the carnival cruise ship port,  has been a source of contention for boat tours operators and local fishermen for years.

What residents thought was a breakthrough with the government announcement of a proposed $1m floating dock, appears to have loss its steam.

As our tourism industry grows, there is a greater need for more safeguards and resources to be put in place to help support tour operators and protect the tourism products that we so desperately depend on.

It’s imperative that the government address these issues in a wholesome way to include input from relevant stakeholders.

Many citizens are of the view that in order to build stronger public/private partnerships, whenever extraordinary decisions are made that can affect an entire industry, the point of view from various stakeholders of that industry should always be considered.

Unfortunately, there is more and more evidence that the local water-sports and land tour operators are being put in a less competitive position and disadvantaged in an industry that was created to support the residents of Grand Turk and Salt Cay and not just Carnival cruise lines.

That is the premise of this article and the story must be told.

The most pressing issue impacting the Watersports operators is not the fact that we do not have a floating dock, but the lack of a proper working ramp to launch and pull up our vessels. There are other pending issues, but if the boat operators can get movement on this particular item it will serve the residents well.

I believe its an important piece of infrastructure that is desperately needed on the island. It will put boat operators in a better position to support the tourism product, proper boat maintenance, in addition to cutting the absorbent cost associated with launching and removal of vessels.

During the latter part of 2021, the government proposed $1m to build a floating dock within the vicinity of Carnival cruise port. To my knowledge, as of this date, no further information or discussion was released to the public.

Below is a list of reasons for our concerns as it relates to this matter.

  1. The current condition and accessibility of the existing ramp located at south base is not fit for use.
  2. It will allow boat tour operators, local fishermen and casual boat users easier access to properly maintaining their vessels.
  3. It will ease the financial burden for so many of us as the associated cost to launch and remove vessels is well over $200.
  4. It will minimize damages caused to vessels during transit due to the build up of uncontrollable sand dunes and a lack of the proper equipment being used.
  5. The police dock located at north creek is not practical or conducive to small business operators depending on the cruising industry to make an honest living. In addition, during inclement weather, entering and exiting north creek could be treacherous and at times boat operators can not exit the channel. This could impact the tourism experience if vessels are unavailable for prebooked tours in addition to causing loss revenue.

Recommendations and Solutions:

  1. At this given time a proper ramp is more practical then a floating dock.
  2. Recommended location for a permanent not a the floating dock should be at Governor’s beach. Partial infrastructure is already there as it was previously used by the US Navy. In addition, the access lane is already in place.
  3. Another alternative would be to extend and enhance the Salt Cay dock for public use.
  4. Equip dock with lights and running water for proper use and maintenance of vessels or search and rescue operations.
  5. Repair and enhance the existing public ramp located at south base.
  6. Repair the roads leading to and from all docks and ramps.

Development within a Park, by ordinance, is acceptable if it benefits the general public.  I think a proper public ramp or dock on the western shores would fit that bill and the boaters have certainly made a compelling argument.

I often marvel that it took successive Governments no time to come up with finding funds to remove the old steamer on Governor’s beach, but it’s taking years to provide a needed resource to support the tourism industry which Grand Turk boat operators and local fishermen primarily depends on.

It will take high level and bureaucratic commitment to move this forward.

Nevertheless, boat operators are optimistic that change will come some day. We look forward to a favorable outcome where we can all work together in unison for the betterment of this great country.


Ed Forbes

Concerned citizen of Grand Turk 

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Home Affairs Budget will fund Online Portal for DMV, New Fire Trucks and more says Otis Morris



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 



#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – A bevy of important legislative changes and tangible projects are on the agenda for the Ministry of Home Affairs this year, as the ministry attempts to institute an all new Utilities Bill; a complete revamp of the postal service including personal mailboxes and much more.

The plans were shared on May 18th by Otis Morris, Minister of Home Affairs as he made his contribution to the National Budget debate, last month.

Morris’ ministerial portfolio is a broad one, covering telecommunications, transportation, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), fire services and water services; the PNP Administration, in its Budget passed on Friday May 19, has carved out $26 million for Home Affairs and among the first targets:  mail physically delivered to residents’ doorsteps.

“The Postal Services intends to set up residential mailboxes in several communities on Providenciales,” Morris said. He explained that this would begin with houses that have 911 numbers and mailbox numbers will match house numbers, TCI will be first in the Caribbean to implement it according to the Minister.

Connections will also be made with the US Postal service to allow small businesses locally, to send their product overseas with courier services provided by the local Postal Office through the United States Postal Services, and others for priority delivery to the good’s destination within two business days. This could open up small businesses in the country to the US Market expanding their client base by hundreds of millions.

In relation to water services Morris said:  “As we speak, the contractor is advancing the contract for the installation of the new piping system to connect the RO Plant to the 1-million-gallon storage facility At the same time, the new booster pump house at the 1-million-gallon-storage facility has also been completed.”

In addition, contracts for another 1-million-gallon Salt Water Reverse Osmosis Plant and 1-million-gallon storage facility have been signed, and initial stages have begun. It’s good news especially for Grand Turk residents who have had recurring issues with water availability for years.

The service time at the DMV is another long standing issue on the agenda to be fixed this year, with a new database that will allow for online applications for new and renewed licenses.  Morris says it will dramatically reduce the wait time.

Other projects promised to be completed this financial year include:

  • Collaborating with Carnival Cruises to add the Prison Farm as a tour stop
  • New volunteer fire services,
  • A new fire truck from the Miami Dade Fire and Rescue Department for North and Middle Caicos,
  • A £14 million solar panel on Government buildings project,
  • A Child Safeguarding Champion initiative to train students to identify and report abuse and provide support,
  • A Partnership for Peace program in collaboration with UN Women to engage local men and boys.

In addition to those projects, Morris says he will be going to the House of Assembly with several bills to tackle long standing issues for the public. They include:

  • Amendments to the Road Traffic and Motor Vehicles Ordinances,
  • Revising the Turks and Caicos Islander Status Ordinance to make applying for status easier,
  • Legislation for the implementation of Local Government,
  • Drafting of Utilities Regulatory Agency Bill to create a regulatory agency for electricity water and more,
  • Amendments to the Electricity Ordinance to include provisions for renewable energy.

Along with the all new Utilities Regulatory Agency, a new Department of Rehabilitation and Community Services will be created; plus a new Publishing Policy is in the works, Morris says, to highlight the gaps and missed opportunities, as it relates to the utilization of modern equipment.

Morris swore to continue to be a servant leader for residents across the country, maintaining that the budget was not just a collection of numbers, but an expression of his values and aspirations,

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Caribbean News

Even UK Royals aware of Turks & Caicos Illegal Migration issues, says Premier 



By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – The UK government is well aware of the escalation of the issues the  Turks and Caicos is plagued with as it relates to irregular migration.  Even the Royal Family is clued in to the size of the problem according to Premier, Washington Misick.

“As it stands at the moment, this is our piece of the globe that we have to protect and we will do everything we can to prevent the degradation of the conditions within the Turks and Caicos islands,” he vowed.

The country leader was speaking at a national address to introduce Operation PURSUIT in response to exponential levels of migrants trying to breach the country’s borders.  The Premier said assistance would be coming from the United Kingdom in short order, including the possibility of more permanent marine support, which some residents think the UK should provide, since they are responsible for national security in the country.

Misick refused to preempt what the UK would announce, but expressed confidence that help was on the way.  In addition to that he said he was in conversation with CARICOM and the US as well.

“The Prime Minister of The Bahamas is the president of CARICOM at the moment, I am indeed engaged with the Prime Minister. We have had conversations, also I have raised the issue with the Ministry of Defense in the United States so some wheels are turning.  Hopefully we will collectively be able to assist Haiti,” he said.

Operation PURSUIT, launched on May 23, is designed to curb crimes linked to irregular migration and human smuggling, is now in operation.

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Caribbean News

Farewell and Appreciation Ceremony & Re-establishment of the Salt Cay Police Post            



#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – The quaint island of Salt Cay came together for a farewell and appreciation ceremony for outgoing District Commissioner Mrs. Almaida Wilson in honour of her exemplary service and commitment to the community.  Mrs. Wilson has served as the District Commissioner since 2016 and has been in the public service for over thirty (30) years.   In her remarks on the day, Acting Governor Her Excellency Anya Williams, expressed her thanks to Mrs. Wilson for her years of service after voluntarily retiring in 2012, for coming back into the service and serving the people on Salt Cay.

The Premier Hon. C. Washington Misick expressed his respect and thanks to Mrs. Wilson, whom he said: “provided fine service to the people of Salt Cay.” He added, “Although you are retiring from this job, I know this community will always hold a special place in your heart.”

The Acting Governor in her role as Head of the Public Service also introduced the incoming District Commissioner, Ms. Aisha Thomas, who took up her post on 1st June 2023.  Ms. Thomas, who has experience in finance and has worked in public service, gave an impassioned speech laying out her vision and excitement about taking up the new post.

In the presence of the Acting Governor, Premier, Cabinet Ministers, Leader of the Opposition, Government Officials, and the community of Salt Cay, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr. Rodney Adams commissioned the new Salt Cay Police Post in the person of Constable Stanley Been.  Addressing the need for more community policing, Deputy Commissioner Adams thanked the community of Salt Cay, who had waited for the Police Post stationed on the island, and the day has now arrived.

The morning ceremony on Tuesday, 30th May concluded with a light reception and music from the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force Band.

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