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Paget neighbours critical of redevelopment of maintenance yard at Botanical Gardens

A Parks Department facility under construction in the Botanical Gardens has drawn flak from neighbours, but Government says the facility is a necessary one.

South Shore Road residents, who asked not to be named, nonetheless questioned the need for the maintenance yard, calling the build a waste of Government funds.

According to Public Works, who have undertaken the work on behalf of Parks, the job is to replace a maintenance yard flattened in 2003 by Hurricane Fabian.

“It is a brown field site that was previously used for the purpose for which it is now being redeveloped,” a spokesman said.

“Since Parks had to demolish the buildings in 2004 as a result of the damage caused by Fabian, Parks crews have been working out of containers, which create extremes in temperatures depending on the time of year. This is an unacceptable standard.”

The new facility will include a water tower. Parks, the spokesman said, need “a centrally located mustering station”, and the old site in the Botanical Gardens “has worked and will work well”.

“The Maintenance Yard is for the 100 or so employees who currently sign in and out from this site, and for their numerous trucks, tractors, trailers and equipment storage. “The crews that report to other areas, such as Tulo Valley Plant Nursery, Admiralty House Park, Arboretum, and Government House, will continue to do so.”

Neighbours said they had purchased their property adjoining the works too late to lodge Planning objections.

However: “With the change in Government, and focus on cost savings, we were convinced that this project would be one of the first to be put on the back burner,” the residents added. “We were therefore surprised to find out last week that they had started clearing away some of the existing buildings and were proceeding with the project.”

They also said they’ve thus far been unable to get a fence installed along the boundary between their land and the Park.

Residents were further incensed that a large white cedar on the property border, which Public Works had agreed to protect, was chopped down last October.

The spokesman acknowledged that the tree had been mistakenly cut down.

“Another tree will be planted as a replacement for the white cedar after the construction is completed,” he added.

“At the moment, the crews from Parks’ Maintenance Yard have been moved to a temporary posting at the old Marsh Folly site, so that both the Bermuda Hospitals Board and Public Works could carry out ground works in and around the Maintenance Yard site, and until the Maintenance Yard is completed.

“The Marsh Folly site is not large enough for the crews and they are still working out of containers which is, as mentioned above, an unacceptable standard.”

Photo by Mark Tatem South Shore Road, Paget residents have question motive for the redevelopment of a maintenance yard in Botanical Gardens which was flattened and damaged during Hurricane Fabian in 2003. A Public Works spokesman has admitted that this white cedar tree was cut down in October in error and would be replaced.

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Published January 29, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated January 30, 2013 at 10:17 pm)

Paget neighbours critical of redevelopment of maintenance yard at Botanical Gardens

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