New Fees Take Effect Thursday.
THE Soufriere Regional Development Foundation (SRDF) is to assume management of the jetties in port Soufriere and ensure that stipulated docking fees are collected from next Thursday.
These jetties include the main porting dock, a boardwalk facility, a Fisheries Complex unit and a smaller pier located on the Hummingbird beach in Soufriere.
The past several weeks have seen the organization engaged in a number of structural and refurbishment work on the main jetty primarily due to its dilapidated condition and the many complaints over the past few years of damage to boats and inadequate supplementary facilities to accommodate the safe and secure mooring of vessels.
One of the mandates of the SRDF in conjunction with the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) is to ensure close adherence to the International Security and Port Facility- Code due to its far reaching repercussions if contravened; hence, the need to ensure that standards and protocol at the jetties were not being compromised also became a major factor in determining the commencement of the work project.
The initial stage of renovation which cost approximately $30,000.00 saw the construction of a security booth, the fortifying of concrete foot landings, the replacement of damaged pontoon cleats, ironmongery works to an entrance gate and painting of appropriate signage and demarcation of safety zones on the jetty’s walkway.
Moreover, the secondary phase of the project is due to commence on Monday with the goal of fully refurbishing the smaller pier located on the Hummingbird beach. The scope of works for this smaller facility was developed by the Ministry of Infrastructure and includes the removal of surface boards, concrete reinforcement and the placing of floor planks. In addition to these interventions, a staffing booth will be constructed for the housing of security personnel and the facilitation of docking fee collection.
“We are elated to see the realization of this project in its entirety; more specifically, the organization is comforted on seeing the smaller pier facility fully refurbished and commissioned for use within a structured, authorized and safe system. The jetty has been in disrepair for an extended period of time and its use by small pleasure craft operators for disembarking and boarding, put its clients, who are generally foreign visitors in grave danger and the reputation of the country at stake,” stated Mr. Jimmy Haynes, Executive Director of the SRDF.
Ms. Latoya Martial, Dock Supervisor at the SRDF commended the Board of Directors of the organization for its swift approval for the commencement of work on the jetties. She said: “I am extremely pleased with what has been done thus far. The boat captains have also expressed the same sentiments and recognize our commitment on seeing them operate in a safe and welcoming facility.