Residents of one Central George Town neighborhood come together to save a community park they’ve enjoyed for decades.
George Town Central MLA Kenneth Bryan convened a meeting Monday (9 April) night after discovering the privately owned property was now on the market, and those in the Scranton community let their opinions be heard.
Calling it the heart and soul of the Scranton community, Mr. Bryan vowed to those in attendance he would keep the pressure on government to purchase the neighborhood park.
“I think the comment ‘dealing with it’ is just not enough,” he said, referring to Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin’s response to Cayman 27 queries about the park. “The people and the residents and the voters in George Town Central need a better, stronger, commitment than that. We want to hear that the property is going to be purchased by the government.”
Mr. Bryan said if government does obtain the property, it opens up a world of possibilities to improve and expand.
“If the government does secure this location, the very next step that I would suggest, and I would love to advocate for this on your behalf, is an agreement from government to allow us not only to use this property, but the adjacent two properties,” said Mr. Bryan, referring to two recently-acquired crown-owned parcels.
“You go to New York, you’ve got Central Park, you go to London, there’s a park, you go to Paris, there’s a park,” said Scranton community leader Dale Ramoon.
Mr. Ramoon said the transformative vision is in place if government can do its part, sentiments echoed by others in attendance.
“If you are hungry here, somebody will feed you, and we would lay down in the road, lay down our life for this community,” said one resident. “We want this park, and we want it now, the children need it, we the older heads need it.”
Mr. Bryan remained optimistic for the park’s future prospects.
“It could be a blessing in disguise by God that it is up for sale, because we can finally go and probably actually fight for some money, revamp it, expand it, and make it a little stronger,” he said.
Mr. Bryan told Cayman 27 the park has historically had difficulty securing private sector partnerships because it is privately owned. If it were owned by government, he said, it would be easier to establish those types of arrangements.