Plans for Tomlinsons public cemetery unveiled

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The government’s move to establish a new public cemetery has attracted concerns from residents in the Potters community, the planned location for the facility.
Approximately 40 people attended Monday night’s public consultation at the Potter’s Primary School. While there appeared a general sense of acceptance, concerns were raised about flooding and the likely traffic build up in the community.
“I have no doubt that we need a new cemetery for Antigua and Barbuda with all the modern amenities, but I think the location is wrong,” said McClean Jonas, a resident.
“I can foresee if we have major flooding, what you’re proposing there would be major problems. We have the Sir Viv Richards stadium … when there’s a major function at that stadium it’s a lot of problems to get in and out.”
aarea was densely populated and that also needed to be taken into consideration.
But Molwyn Joseph, health minister, who made the presentation to the gathering, said Jonas’s concerns were unfounded.
“You’re making some assumptions that are not scientifically sound in terms of the runoff and flooding and so forth,” Joseph stated. “We have studied that. We have brought in the people from Trinidad, and we also brought in the experts from the Arlington cemetery (U.S. military cemetery) who did the boreholes.”
However, the minister’s comments did not appease Debbie Samuel Looby, another resident who queried the wisdom in the site selection.
“I live in that area, Potter’s new extension. I know that that area is prone to flooding, especially as he (Jonas) said, when there’s high rainfall. I also know that it takes a long time to run off, so I do not think that enough thought was put to that and that was taken into consideration when that location was chosen.
“Being a person who has studied and who has undertaken studies myself, I know for sure that studies can reflect anything you want it to reflect, especially depending on the philosophy of the government in control,” the visibly upset woman declared.
Looby suggested that another location be found and suggested one just below Crosbies or near the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Looby also opposed the idea of locating a cemetery in an already populated area, but this was refuted by the minister who said that a 20-acre plot of unoccupied land had been identified for the new cemetery.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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