Photo Credit: Gordon French/BVI Platinum News
The initial list of areas identified by the former Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government to benefit from the $15.7M Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) rehabilitation infrastructure loan project will remain the same. This assurance came from Hon. Mark Vanterpool, Minister for Communications and Works.
The Minister in response to questions regarding concerns that some areas might have been taken off the list of projects and new ones added, told reporters, "We have not made any changes to the list that had been done.
He added, "Obviously after two and half years and certain things may have been done or other things may have become more precarious or more important. The government is reviewing those as to how the government would fund those, but the actual projects no changes have been made up to this point."
Mr Vanterpool was speaking at a signing ceremony held yesterday, March 15 where government inked a $499,500 contract with St. Lucian firm FDL Consult Inc., an engineering company that will oversee works under the loan project.
"So far there have been no changes; one of the things as you know this process has been going on for a little while, approval of the loan, access to it, and now the engineering process, procurement process which took a little longer than we had hoped. So in the meantime because there were some precarious areas that we considered very necessary to do."
He added, "The government undertook those works so far in Jost Van Dyke, a few small project on Tortola and that was funded by what you call the Virgin Islands government portion that we would have to contribute to the project."
The Minister was asked if government is any way concerned that they might have to find additional monies for some of the damaged areas since some may have gotten worse over the past two years following the initial damaged after Tropical Storm Otto in 2010. Mr Vanterpool said if that turns out to be the case the engineer under FDL Consult Inc., will advise Government following his review.
"Our engineer when he does his reviews will consider that. If
changes are to be made I am sure he will put forward recommendations and as the government we will have to take them forward and how we treat them. Hopefully we wouldn´t have any major adjustments in cost to the project but if we do it´s in our best interest to ensure that the project is done correctly," he stated.
Meanwhile, Dr. Drexel Glasgow Project Manager and Chief of Infrastructure Planning Research and Development informed members of the media that of the $15.7M, about $12.5M will go towards the actual physical construction works.
He said there are the components of the project including the engineering consultancy and the drainage study and drafting of regulations.
"...The drainage study itself is another $500,000 and that's a comprehensive drainage study for the entire Road Town catchment area to basically model what going on and...," he stated.