MP Johnson cited Disney’s Heads of Agreement indication to work with Eleuthera Communities.
A twenty-two-member team from Disney Cruise Lines, including President, Jeff Vahle, and VP Communications and Public Affairs, Kim Prunty, accompanied Member of Parliament for Central and South Eleuthera, Mr. Hank Johnson on a tour of the medical facilities within the constituency on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019.
Mr. Johnson shared that with the group tour, he was hoping to give Disney ideas on what they will be able to offer, in reference to their indication in the Heads of Agreement that they would work within the communities on the island. “Our medical facilities are not in the best shape at this time, and that starts from Wemyss Bight going all the way north in the constituency. So, when the project comes to Eleuthera, they will know what we have.
“We are also hoping that all the other investors will come together to assist with upgrade of local medical facilities. We presently have a drawing for a new medical facility in Rock Sound. Disney is leaning towards doing this facility. So, today we will present the drawing and look at the area where this clinic is supposed to be going,” he said.
Following a brief look at the Worker’s House complex in Governor’s Harbour, Jeff Vahle commented on the reasons for the trip – his third to the island within the last six months, “The purpose today is to update people on where we are in the project right now, talk about future opportunities for people – both from a construction, and a labour market perspective, and just talk with the supporters and different people in the community that have been interested in our project… We are going to walk the medical facilities here, ending up in Bannerman Town. Then we are going to visit the Lighthouse Point site. Tomorrow we will be having meetings to discuss labour opportunities and updates on the project.”
In reference to the current status of the project, he stated that they were currently working through the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), “We’ve been working on the EIA since the Fall (Autumn 2018), and we anticipate a completion and turning it in to the BEST Commission in the June timeframe, and would expect to be working through that to early Fall 2019, hopefully, for approval – then move forward with construction following that.
“We have to hold off on any construction until after the EIA approvals. So, immediately after the approvals, we would start seeing construction and activities taking place on the site. We are looking hopefully at end of year, early 2020 – all dependent on the EIA process.”
Kim Prunty shared that they had met with the Ministry of Labour on island earlier on Tuesday morning, to get a better understanding of the labour market, and to begin to establish a relationship. “We will also have several information sessions over the next few days for people who are interested in working on the Lighthouse Point project in the future.” The sizeable team they had on island, she said, included representatives from procurement, labour and human resources, and construction divisions at Disney, to better understand the opportunities for economic development on Eleuthera.
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