The Compromise

Operate the sand-mining operation in the North Belham Valley and build a jetty at one of several locations being proposed including the existing Plymouth jetty, at the base of Richmond Hill/Bransby Point or Foxes Bay. Why not also consider sand extraction above the former Belham Bridge with a jetty close to the Springs Hotel? Another potential location is near Trants, a site that was originally too hot to consider from the 2010 eruption but is now cool enough to excavate materials to a depth of 3 metres (10 feet).

Yes, building a new jetty would be done at a cost, but the return on that investment could be exponential. One proposed location offers the additional financial benefit of potential geothermal energy operations. Each of these locations would reduce the negative impact on tourism, but we also must pay very close attention to both environmental and safety issues.

There’s another factor here: many conversations, negotiations and agreements have been done behind closed doors. Only a small circle of individuals has been privy to the information and involved in the discussions. By opening up the process to the community, there are no secrets or back-door agreements.

That puts the best interests of Montserrat where they belong: up front.