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The Freeport News
Bimini residents upset by Capo's theft claims
by Navardo Saunders
May 25, 2005
Government representatives and the developers of Bimini Bay Project are expected to meet with Biminites by the end of the week to hear their concerns about the contentious project.
Bimini District Chief Councillor Tasha Bullard-Rolle said yesterday the MP for Bimini Obie Wilchcombe faxed her a letter in the morning, informing her that the relevant Cabinet ministers were to meet with the developers in Nassau around 2:30pm yesterday to discuss the issues surrounding the project.
"Mr. Wilchcombe also said that government representatives and the developers would hold a meeting with the residents by the end of the week," she said.
Mrs. Bullard-Rolle said Bimini residents are looking forward to the meeting becasue the chief developer, Gerardo Capo, has accused Biminites of stealing building materials from his property.
Mrs. Bullard-Rolle said Mr. Capo had written her a letter recently accusing residents of stealing and she had written him back, asking if he had any evidence to support his claims.
However Mrs. Bullard-Rolle said she never got a response.
But on Monday the chief councillor said Mr. Capo's letter was read in part on ZNS News, with Mr. Capo insisting that he wants to prohibit Biminites from accessing his project because they have stolen material from the site.
Mrs. Bullard-Rolle said Biminites are upset that ZNS allowed Mr. Capo to accuse them of theft and not once has ZNS come to Bimini to get their side of the story regarding the allegations and their concerns about the project.
"ZNS should not have carried that report without gettting our side of the story." she said. "I responded to Mr. Capo's letter and I told him if he can prove that his materials were stolen by Biminites, if anything was in fact stolen, he should report the thieves to the police. He hasn't reported anyone."
Mrs. Bullard-Rolle said Biminites are eager to meet with the developer and the government to set the record straight and for Mr. Capo to apologize to them since his claims are baseless.
The chief councillor said had Mr. Wilchcombe not sent the fax, Biminites would have demonstrated in front of the Bimini Bay Project again yesterday.
"Our people realize that if this project continues we will be like prisoners on our own island.," she said. "They are resolute in their quest to get the project downsized."
About 200 Biminites braved the sweltering heat for several hours on Monday and demonstrated in front of the massive multimillion dollar Bimini Bay Project, which is downright offensive in the present form.
They demanded that the project be downsized because in its present form they would deny them access to five miles of the seven mile island.
They also objected to the number of foreign employees working on the project compared to the number of Bahamian workers and they also called on Mr. Capo to fulfil promises he made regarding building a primary school, a suitable and acceptable water supply system and donating a fire truck, among other things.
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