lans for the renovation of the Franklin Powell Sr. Park generated during Julien Harley’s tenure as St. John administrator will soon be finalized, along with new plans for a Cruz Bay boardwalk introduced by St. John Administrator Leona Smith.
The park renovations will involve a partnership between the private and public sectors, ex-plained Smith, who would not elaborate on the specific entities and businesses involved.
“We are still waiting on word from the governor before we go public with the information regarding the park,” she said. “What’s happening will be a private-public partnership.”
July Start Date
Smith is still aiming for construction to begin in July, in hopes the project will be completed by November, she explained.
“We are still shooting for the July start date, and we’ll try to complete it by November for the peak season,” said Smith. “We have to complete it by then.”
Some of the project’s funding has already been used for the plans, and more funding will likely be needed for the Cruz Bay park’s renovation.
Local companies have come forward to lend their time and money to the project, explained Smith.
“The project has already gone out for bidding, but the bids came back too high,” said the administrator. “Some of the local contractors have said they will donate labor and resources. It’s going to be a community effort with both the government and the private sector.”
The donations by local contractors will help to fill in where government funding isn’t enough, explained Smith.
“Everybody’s going to lend a hand and try to help out,” she said. “The government can’t fund the entire project, so we’re going to go out there and ask contractors here on island to contribute to the project.”
The park renovation plans now include plans for a boardwalk along Cruz Bay, Smith explained.
“We want to put in a boardwalk from the dinghy dock to the Battery, which will alleviate some of the congestion in the taxi stand area,” she said. “It will allow someone to come off the dock with their luggage and meet their party on the boardwalk instead of walking in the street.”
Boardwalk Will Not Harm Environment
While perceived irresponsible developments have recently riled up the St. John community, the construction of the boardwalk will not harm the environment, explained Smith.
“I don’t think anything will be destroyed there, because it will be made out of wood,” she said. “We’re not going to remove any of the trees.”