Colonel Burch on airport
House: $2.4m bill to move airmail to GPO
Bermuda would have faced a $2.4 million bill to move the air mail processing centre from the airport to the island’s General Post Office, the House of Assembly heard this morning.
Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch told the House that the cost of modifying the GPO in Hamilton would cost between $1.8 million and $2.3 million and that work would take 12 to 18 months.
Rent would have to be paid to airport developers Aecon for use of the airport building in the interim.
Colonel Burch, the public works minister, said the situation was a “comedy of errors” and that other options were considered.
He added that a lease was signed for New Venture House, on Mill Creek Road, Pembroke, yesterday and modifications to the building were underway.
Rental costs for New Venture House are estimated to be $25,000 a month plus service charges.
Colonel Burch said: “I expect the move to occur before the end of this month and I shall keep this House advised of the outcome of this sorry tale and the ultimate costs to the Bermudian taxpayer.”
Under the airport lease, the mail and customs centre at the airport should have relocated by September 30 or rent would be charged at market rates and penalties could be applied.
Lovitta Foggo, the Minister for Government Reform, last Friday told MPs that keeping the joint air mail and customs post at the airport was too expensive.
She explained that a $600,000 penalty plus monthly rent would have to be paid if the two services remained past the end of the year.
Aecon would also be released from its obligation to build a prefunded cargo building and it would not be required to carry out maintenance or repair work on the building used by the Post Office and customs.
Ms Foggo said that a move to Mill Creek Road would cost around $360,000 a year.
• To read Colonel Burch’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”
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