(Revised on March 27th, 2020)
Justin Higgs reports that the demolition phase of the rebuilding of the Hope Town Primary School has begun. The main entrance from the lower road will no longer be used.
Important Information regarding Hope Town’s recovery and the Elbow Cay Restoration Committee can be found at: https://elbowcaycommunity.com
The Hope Town public docks are being rebuilt, thanks to a grant by United Way of Palm Beach and funding by Hope Town United. Stafford Patterson reported that the Bahamas Marine barge arrived yesterday and went right to work pulling out the old pilings. There is also a floating dock that was built in Florida and is being shipped to Hope Town. It should arrive on island in about a week and will be installed between the Post Office dock and the Hope Town Volunteer Fire & Rescue dock.
A new fence and gate have been built at Jarrett Park. The new roof is on the library and according to Stafford Patterson, “the windows should arrive ‘soon’ (they are on the Eastward Bound shipping barge, along with some heavy equipment Hope 4 Hope Town is sending over). Once secure, the library will be the community center as well as police station and post office. HT Government is already in the office space on the north end of the building.”
From Hope Town District Council: Please be advised when completing the Consolidated Form for importing goods the below items cannot be omitted.
Bahamians Homeowners have to include National Insurance Numbers on the form.
Foreign Homeowners have to include a copy BPL (Bahamas Power & Light) last billing and Real Property Tax last payment Receipt.
These forms can be dropped off at the Real Property Tax and Business License office in the Government Complex, Marsh Harbour for approvals or your Broker can assist. It takes a few days for approvals to be granted so please apply well in advance.
In Marsh Harbour: RBC Bank has announced that they have an ATM available at the Government Plaza, open 24/7. Scotiabank also has an ATM available at Rubis Gas Station. Hours are Mon-Sat: 7am-6pm, Sun: 8am-2pm.
Beginning February 13th, American Airlines Miami/Marsh Harbour will have one flight per day. Silver Airlines and Bahamas Air have also resumed internal fights to Marsh Harbour and Freeport. Contact the airlines for details.
Nassau Guardian article featuring Vernon Malone, Stafford Patterson, and Jane Patterson:
From Hope Town District Council 1/23/2020: REAL PROPERTY TAX OFFICE MS JANCY ROLLE ADVISED THAT ALL ASSESSMENT ACCOUNTS WITH REAL PROPERTY TAX WILL BE FLAGGED AS EXEMPTED FOR DAMAGED HOMES UNTIL OCTOBER 2020. REMINDER: YOU SHOULD HAVE PICTURES OF THE PROPERTY BEFORE THE HURRICANE AND AFTER REPAIRS AS THIS MAY BE REQUESTED IN OCTOBER 2020.
Friends of the Environment has announced they will be holding two fundraising Reef Balls in the near future. The first one will be held in West Palm Beach on February 29th (at the home of Rich & Rita Lazzara) and the second one will be held at the Abaco Inn on Elbow Cay on March 21st. Contact FOE for details.
Several volunteers with Eco Blue Projects and Friends of the Environment removed much debris from Mermaid Reef recently.
Did your home get destroyed or more than 20% damaged in the storm? BPL is going to require an occupancy certificate and building permit before reconnecting to electricity. BE AHEAD OF THE GAME! Apply to the District Council for your permit at no cost! Contact email@example.com for the complete application (the photo below is only partial).
As of January 1st, 2020, the importation of single use plastic bags, styrofoam containers & cups, plastic utensils, and plastic straws has been banned in the Bahamas. For more information visit: https://www.plasticfree242.com/
Hope Town Strong: The community came together to help unload the Abacays freight boat which was taking on water when it entered Hope Town Harbour. After the supplies were unloaded at Sunshine Park via bucket brigade, they were then dispersed to the proper recipients with the help of the ship’s manifest. The freight boat was saved from sinking and pumped out thanks to HTVFR and local residents and volunteers.
From Fine Living Home Collections & Customs Brokerage:
For all second homeowners that sustained damage due to hurricane Dorain and wish to import items duty free for
repairs or rebuilding the following documents are required.
1. Consolidated Tax Relief form
3. Tax bill
Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information email inlandrevenue.finance.gov.bs
Below are the 2020 Hope Town Volunteer Fire & Rescue Officers. Thank you and to all of HTVFR!
Chief: Troy Pritchard
Assistant Chief: Stafford Patterson
Secretary: Marji Chapman
Assistant Secretary: Jordan Wells
Treasurer: Steve Roberts
Team Leader Medical: Jamie Williams
Team Leader Fire: Richard Cook
Team Leader Engineering: David Darville
Team Leader Marine: Clint Russell
Team Leader Dispatch: Bonnie Hall
Thomas Bethel and Neil Drori are putting together a group of home owners to do a bulk buy of 14 – 20 KVA propane generators to bring to the island in order to get discounted prices and save on logistics costs. Propane generators with output sufficient to run a whole house including an ATS (automatic transfer switch) run between 20% - 25% of the cost of a diesel generator of equivalent output. In addition, they come complete with an insulated enclosure, have a small footprint and are clean burning. Their only limitation is that they are not designed to run 24/7. The Drori’s have personally had a propane generator at their home in Hope Town for over 5 years and have been very satisfied with both performance and running cost. The buying group already has 8 commitments but the more units we can buy, the more negotiating power we will have. Any interested parties are invited to contact Neil at or Thomas at
Also, you can contact Stafford Patterson if you are interested in solar power.
Link to Latest Exigency Order (#5, Dec 1):
Below is the link to the Nassau Tribune article regarding tax breaks that expire June 2020…
Maxwell’s Supermarket and Furniture Store has reopened in Marsh Harbour! Hours are Monday thru Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (including furniture store). Frederick’s Agency, Commonwealth Bank, and The Chemist Pharmacy are also in the store.
Elbow Cay businesses have started to reopen, including:
Mackey's Take Out
Da Crazy Crab
Jack's Liquor Sales & Pizza
HT Fuel Depot
Cat's Paw Boat Rentals
Captain Plug's Adventures
Vernon's Bakery & Store
HT Inn & Marina with limited slips and water
Abaco Marine Mechanics
On Da Beach Bar and Grill
Getaway, Island, Hope Town, Elbow Cay and Lighthouse Cart Rentals
Lighthouse Marina (gas and diesel only M/W/F 8 - 2),
Bike Shop/Hope Town Canvas
Imports Unlimited (limited stock)
Lighthouse Liquors, in Sip Sip (afternoons)
LVA Grocery and Harbour View Grocery with limited stock and hours
The Chopping Block (cuts only, call for appointment)
Eric's Charters (on demand)
Perry Institute for Marine Science and the Nature Conservancy in the Caribbean just wrapped up reef surveys around the Marsh Harbour area. The good news is that offshore reefs were minimally damaged including Sandy Cay Reef in the Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park and reefs in Fowl Cays National Park. However, shallow reefs in closer proximity to the shoreline experienced more damage. On some of these reefs, large pieces of coral were toppled over and land-based sources of debris also impacted the reef (note ladder and mower at Mermaid Reef). Photos: Craig Dahlgren (Perry Institute for Marine Science).
Thanks to donations, Hope Town Volunteer Fire & Rescue now has two rescue boats to replace the ones damaged by Hurricane Dorian!
PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES SPECIAL ECONOMIC RECOVERY ZONES FOR ABACO AND GRAND BAHAMA.
To Feature Tax Concessions and $10 Million to assist Bahamian Small businesses in impacted area
From the Prime Minister's Address: "As special economic recovery zones, the following measures will be put in place:
1) Duty Free Purchase of all materials, fixtures, furniture, vehicles and equipment for all business needs and for all business and residential construction/rehabilitation efforts. This provision will also be extended to domestic purchase of qualifying items that I will detail shortly.
2) Waiver of Business License Fees for operations within the zone.
3) Waiver on Real Property Tax payable on all eligible properties that are reconstructed, restored or otherwise are inhabitable by October 2020.
4) A VAT credit of up to 50 percent on the sale of real property, provided that such sale will be immediately followed by material construction, on or enhancements to the property, or the utilization of the purchased property to material commercial activity.
To maintain the credit, the qualifying activity must commence within 75 days of the close of the sale and must be followed through to scheduled completion. Otherwise the full VAT becomes payable.
5) Establishment of a $10 million loan guarantee and equity financing programme to allow for qualifying Bahamian small and medium size business to secure up to $500,000 in financing under the programme to fund the restoration of businesses, or the creation of new businesses.
6) The Extension of the Provisional Business License Programme to all businesses – with limited exceptions – within the zones so as to allow for qualifying businesses to get started with their businesses within 2 business days of completed application.
7) The establishment of a business assistance One Stop Shop in Grand Bahama and Abaco that will house representatives of the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC), the Bahamas Investment Authority, the Ministry of Finance, The Bahamas Investment Authority, The Department of Inland Revenue, The Department of Environmental Health and Building Permits units of the various agencies.
This one stop shop will be equipped and empowered to ensure that all existing and new businesses will be able to work through any regulatory requirements within 5 working days.