Booby Alley family amenable to relocation

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By Latrishka Thomas

After digging in their heels and spurring a major riot in the Point area four months ago, a Booby Alley family – the first of many asked to relocate temporarily to facilitate the government’s Urban Renewal project – told OBSERVER media they will move when the time comes.

Yesterday, Wayne Kelly, a member of that household, said: “We not ready to move but we will move because we wouldn’t really try to fight the government because fighting the government is a losing battle. So as long as they deal with us right and as long as we’re comfortable, we won’t have any problem.”

However, Kelly said the family has not received any official updates regarding the project.

“I heard that they are going to put it off to December, but nothing official, only on the wayside,” he added.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who is also the Parliamentary representative for the area, disclosed that the plans are still on track, despite some changes.

“We had started construction of what was supposed to be some temporary homes, but because of the timeline we don’t think that we are going to make the timeline by building the homes. So we have put the construction on pause and we are now purchasing containers, which should be here within the next six to eight weeks,” Browne said.

 “We are building these container homes in Point on some land available in Bay Street and thereafter, as soon as we are finished assembling them, the moving process will start in earnest; although we will, in the interim, try to move out a few on individual parcels of land.”

In April, the family of Sharon Roberts was the subject of a riot in the streets of Point as the residents banded together to protest against Roberts and her family being moved out of the area.

At the time, the family members were under the impression that they were being targeted because they live directly across the street from the XCAPE Bar and Restaurant which is owned and operated by a member of the Prime Minister’s family.

A major component that added fuel to the fire on the day in question was that the family’s electricity was disconnected. Yesterday, Kelly told OBSERVER media that the power has not been reconnected to the property and they have resorted to using a generator.

He claimed that when they inquired at the office of the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) about reconnecting the electricity, they were told that it is “above their [APUA’s] pay grade”.

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