ISLAND NEWS

 

(Revised on January 24th, 2020)

 

 
Many thanks to Melanie Tisdale for offering the use of this spectacular photo to HTSC.
 
 
From Hope Town Fire and Rescue:
 
We need your help. 
 
Our team is working day and night to help the people of 
Elbow Cay -- where Hurricane Dorian first made landfall. 
 
Donations are best made directly to: 
Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue through the DonorBox 
Donate link is on our website http://htvfr.org/how-to-help.html   
 
U.S. citizens can make tax-deductible donations of $250.00 or more online via www.PercAbaco.org/how-to-donate/paypal-donations and checking Hope Town Fire and Rescue from the charity list or by check mailed to: 
PERC, Inc. (Preservation, Environment, Recreation, Community) PERC, Inc. P.O. Box 232, Grand Isle, VT 05458 USA. 
For us to receive you donation, you must say that the funds are for the Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue efforts. 
Donations will be immediately process and distributed to HTVFR See their website for exact instructions and background information. https://www.percabaco.org 
 
 

 

Check out www.elbowcay.org for all the latest updates and information on Elbow Cay's recovery.

 

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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.

 

 

 

RBC Bank has announced that they will have an ATM available at the Government Plaza and open 24/7 beginning January 21st.

 

 

 

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 (location TBA) 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! The next meeting is scheduled for 21st January. Contact info.htcouncil@gmail.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.

 

 

 

 

A new floating dock is being built in Ft. Myers for the post office dock in Hope Town.

 

 

 

 

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
2. Identification
3. Tax bill
4. Invoices/quotes/estimates
Please email to medinataylor@bahamas.gov.bs
Or patricialewisdeane@bahamas.gov.bs.
For more information email inlandrevenue.finance.gov.bs

 

 

 

A new roof is now on the library and community spirit was high as many people helped paint a mural on the side of the building. Once construction is complete, this will be the interim community center.

 

 

 

Silver Airways, along with Bahamasair have resumed international flight service to Marsh Harbour & Freeport.

 

 

 

Link to Nassau Tribune article regarding power: http://www.tribune242.com/news/2019/dec/11/energy-industry-eyed-for-80m-post-dorian-boost/

 

 

 

Below are the 2020 Hope Town Volunteer Fire & Rescue Officers. Thank you to them and 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 neil.drori@gmail.com or Thomas at harbourviewgrocery@gmail.com

 

 

Also, you can contact Stafford Patterson if you are interested in solar power.

 

 

 

Link to Latest Exigency Order (#5, Dec 1):

 

https://inlandrevenue.finance.gov.bs/other/hurricane-dorian-exigency-order/

 

 

 

Below is the link to the Nassau Tribune article regarding tax breaks that expire June 2020…

https://thenassauguardian.com/2019/11/29/special-economic-recovery-zone-tax-breaks-outlined/ 


 

11/29 update on power restoration:

http://www.tribune242.com/news/2019/nov/29/more-power-restored-in-abaco/


 

ZNS video with Hope Town locals you will recognize!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=CPUi5rPuYIo

 

 

 

 

For a list of what is open in Abaco as of late November, Click the link below:

https://littlehousebytheferry.com/whatsopeninabaco/

 

 

 

Check out www.elbowcay.org for condition updates. Below is the link to the boaters’ page with important information for all cruisers heading to Elbow Cay.

 

https://www.elbowcay.org/cruisersboaters.html?fbclid=IwAR0C_eIEImz_LcBvANScRh1KvxQTT35shWcfVFt04j2bV7wTsfdomqQo1zM


 

 

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 and Commonwealth Bank have offices inside and The Chemist Pharmacy will also be opening there soon.


 

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 Inn

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.

 

 

 

 

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HOPE TOWN, ABACO, BAHAMAS