Clean-up at Morgan’s Point will cost public $35m

  • Big clean-up needed: Oil-covered water in a Morgan?s Point cave. Around $35m of taxpayers money is expected to be used to clean up the former US military baseland, starting next April.

    Big clean-up needed: Oil-covered water in a Morgan?s Point cave. Around $35m of taxpayers money is expected to be used to clean up the former US military baseland, starting next April.

The news came in the form of written answers to parliamentary questions submitted to Junior Minister of Public Works Senator Vincent Ingham by Shadow Environment Minister Senator Michael Fahy.

And it appears to be confirmation that taxpayers, not private sources, could be shelling out millions for cleaning up a toxic mess left on the site by the US military.

The question, submitted during Monday’s Senate sitting was: “Would the Junior Minister please inform the Senate as to what is the expected completion date of the environmental clean-up being undertaken by and/or on behalf of the Government of Bermuda and what are the estimated costs to be incurred by the Government from 30 November 2011 until the completion of the environmental clean-up at the property known as Morgan’s Point?”

Senator Ingham’s written response was that the clean-up is expected to begin in April next year. “The early phases should be accomplished within 24 months of the date and completed within five years,” the response stated.

“The estimated cost of the works, including provisional items, is likely to be near US$35,595,195 with the worst case cost of US$36,140,026.”

Senator Fahy yesterday expressed concern at the “significant amount of time” and money for the clean up. “And there’s no guarantee that the development is going to happen,” he told The Royal Gazette.

The Opposition Senator was also not impressed with the answer to another question seeking information on the timing of rezoning Southlands as National Park and Open Space Reserve.

Senator Ingham who is the Junior Minister for Public Works, Business Development and Tourism said in his written response that the matter is with the Ministry of Government Estates and Information Services.

That, said Senator Fahy, was an example of a lack of transparency as the Government could have responded anyway even if Senator Ingham was not responsible for Government Estates.

“Now we’ve got to wait until February to answer the question,” Sen Fahy complained.

Three Bermudian entrepreneurs Nelson Hunt, Craig Christensen and Brian Duperreault are spearheading the development of a luxury $2 billion resort at Morgan’s Point, after agreeing to swap their original site, Southlands, for Morgan’s Point.

But Morgan’s Point was left heavily polluted with asbestos, metals, petroleum products and other chemicals when the US military left the Island in 1995. And Government has been unable to get the Americans to clean up their mess.

During this year’s budget debate, Deputy Premier Derrick Burgess said that the clean-up had been delayed until Government found alternative sources of funding.

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Published Dec 17, 2011 at 7:00 am (Updated Dec 17, 2011 at 7:56 am)

Clean-up at Morgan’s Point will cost public $35m

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