The signing of a contract for the reconstruction of the Simms Dock in North Long Island is a confirmation of the Government’s strengthening of infrastructure for the development and continuous progress of the islands of The Bahamas, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources the Hon. Larry Cartwright said.

Minister Cartwright was addressing persons at the Simms Primary School who witnessed last Friday’s signing of the dock’s $251,325 reconstruction contract.

Minister Cartwright said it is “unfair and really shameful” that the people of North Long Island had been forced to wait so long for the dock to be repaired. He commended Works and Transport Minister the Hon. Neko Grant for his efforts to speed up the project and bring relief to the residents who rely on the services of the mail boats that once berthed at Simms Dock.

On behalf of the Government he apologized to the residents for their not having the use of the dock and said the contract signing is a reaffirmation of Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham’s pledge to make life better for the people of The Bahamas.

“The completion of these repairs will permit the current mail boat and other ships of equal size and larger to access the marina at Simms and add to the shipping opportunities for the benefit of persons residing or intending to reside here in North Long Island,” said Minister Cartwright.

“The objective of this venture is not just to return the dock to its pre-hurricane condition, but to also make it more workable to accommodate the vessels that may use this port from time to time.”

“Since this Government took office,” he added, “major investment plans have been announced for this part of Long Island. The repairs to this dock will permit easier access for the delivery of materials to North Long Island and provide some degree of comfort to developers.”

On behalf of the residents of Long Island the Minister expressed appreciation to the Government for its plans to restore the docking facility to its original purpose and praised the Government for selecting Leo Knowles of G and L Construction; a native of Long Island, as the contractor.

Long Island Administrator Roderick Bowe said the reconstruction of the Simms Dock would alleviate some of the hardships experienced by residents, particularly those who travel to Salt Pond to collect their groceries.

“People in the deep North can come here and collect their groceries. I am sure that the residents of Long Island especially those in the North would be elated to see this project completed. They can land the goods here and the islanders can come and pick them up and everyone will be happy,” he said.

Before signing the contract, Minister Grant and his delegation toured the Simms dock. He was accompanied by Anita Bernard, Permanent Secretary; Gordon Major, Acting Director and Junior Bruce, Structural Engineer.

Also in attendance at the contract signing were Local Government and Ministry of Education officials, Selina Burrows of the Ministry of Tourism, and residents of Long Island.