There’s no money for Morgan’s Point clean-up or a Causeway replacement
The clean-up of pollution at Morgan's Point will not go ahead in the coming financial year and the Causeway will not be replaced, the House of Assembly heard yesterday.He said about $540,000 of the total allocated funding (TAF) of $35 million had been spent.
Public Works Minister Derrick Burgess told MPs there was no money available for either project in 2011-12.
The Morgan's Point project is expected to cost $35 million and will need to take place in order for a proposed $2 billion luxury resort to be developed on the peninsula.
The former US Naval Annex on the border of Southampton and Sandys was left heavily polluted with asbestos, metals, petroleum products and other chemicals when the American military left the Island in 1995.
In February 2010, Government said the clean-up was delayed while “alternative funding sources” were sought.
Deputy Premier Mr Burgess said yesterday his Ministry had received bids for the contract and identified the best value proposal.
“It's important to ensure the clean-up operation leaves a safe legacy,” he said. “Sources of funding for the clean-up are being investigated with the proposed development in mind.”
But he added: “We have no budget for this year. We don't have any money for that.”
Mr Burgess said bales of waste being stored at Morgan's Point since last year, while work was done at Tynes Bay, would be returned to Tynes Bay to be incinerated in the spring.
Shadow Public Works Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin said private companies appeared to be using Morgan's Point for the storage of equipment and materials and questioned whether that was generating any income for Government.
On plans for a new crossing to replace the Causeway, Mr Burgess said an environmental impact assessment had been completed, as well as a study into the financing and procurement of the $65 million project.
“This Ministry has issued an RFP (request for proposal) and received proposals. This Ministry is in a position to progress on this project as soon as the economic environment will permit.”
He said at the moment his Ministry's efforts were focused on Causeway maintenence and repair to ensure the safety and integrity of the existing structure.
About $2 million of the $65.3 million TAF had been spent so far, he added, with $1 million budgeted for 2011-12.
Mrs Gordon-Pamplin said: “I think the average person in Bermuda would be ecstatic that there has been some progress. It's not going to happen overnight because we don't have any money in the kitty.”
Yesterday's debate on the Public Works budget for 2011-12 also heard that $2.1 million has been set aside for six new garbage trucks to be bought during the next fiscal year, which starts on April 1.
Mr Burgess said the amount of solid waste needing incineration had gone down and was expected to be 59,000 tons for this year, compared to almost 64,000 tons in 2009-10.
He said the reduction was believed to be due to the economic downturn.