BVI News

Create separate plans: Airport not part of ‘recovery’

Luce Hodge-Smith

While stating that the costly airport expansion project is not vital to the territory’s disaster recovery, Director of Culture, Luce Hodge-Smith is recommending that government create separate plans for ‘recovery’ and ‘development’.

Hodge-Smith made the suggestion at a recent public consultation on government’s proposed recovery and development plan for the British Virgin Islands.

“Why do we have a ‘recovery and development’ plan?” Hodge-Smith questioned.

“We are recovering from all of these disasters and we should focus on recovery separate to development,” she reasoned.

According to the government’s proposed plan, $250 million of recovery funds is projected for expanding the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport.

Hodge-Smith described the airport expansion as an important venture but said: “I didn’t quite understand how the airport project fits into a recovery plan … Maybe we should change the topic or the title to ‘Recovery to Development’ and not ‘and’ Development.”

In response, Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordination Committee, Brodrick Penn sought to explain the reasons for the current title.

“The whole idea is we don’t just want to recover, we want to go beyond where we were,” Penn said.

He continued: “It’s a continual review. We initially had some short-term review, but to recover we have to put things in place to move towards development. The reality is that the long-term development is going to come over the medium-to-long term that we identified in the plan. But we thought that it was a good synergy and good opportunity to actually move from just recovery to development.”

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26 Comments

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  1. Agree says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Mrs. Luz Hodge Smith. Government is just trying to find new ways to siphon off monies under the guise of hurricane recovery.

  2. Stop says:

    Stop this f’ing airport expansion nonsense. I think it is time to put all ministers out of their homes and into roofless structures with no current or water. Take away their salary too and let them live like so many of their district residents are living and then let’s see how important that pocket lining,Chinese a*^% kissing airport expansion really is.

    • Hmm hmm says:

      Roofless structures lack of current and water..All these items are endemic to hurricanes. Choosing to live in the beauty of the hurricane tropics leaves individuals with the responsibility of personal generators cisterns tarps insurance etc
      The whole island has been devastated no one not adversely affected.
      Much of the continued suffering if looked at squarely can be laid on the shoulders of homeowners and their lack of personal responsibility and preparation in my opinion. I fail to see where the gov is at fault. Villifying and blame of Gov should be set aside and focus made on prep for the next disaster.

      Gov focus is on the broader picture for the whole as it should be.

    • 1See says:

      100 per cent agree . Enough already !!!

  3. Wendy says:

    It may well be that in order to successfully recover in a meaningful and substantial way,development in some instances would be a portion of the recovery process. An independent means of transport in and out of the VI is necessary in my opinion. For starters we cannot recover without tourism and a port and an airport with little dependency on the USVI has proven to be a necessity. Thank God for the new and much demonized unheralded port which was instrumental in tourists arrival sooner rather than later.

    • Bendy but nice says:

      We already have an independent means of transport in and out of the VI. We have ferries to St. Thomas and planes to several other islands. From those other islands you can get to anywhere worth going to.
      Direct flights to Miami would be pointless because then you’d be in Miami. Nobody in their right minds would choose to be in Miami.

      • Wendy says:

        Not understanding the gist of statement in the last paragraph. Please explain.

      • Watcher says:

        It takes at least 5 hours to get onto a plane in St Thomas from Tortola. You can be in Miami in that time on a direct flight. Plus Miami is not the only destination. Direct flights will probably come from New York, London and Toronto plus other US and European cities in due course.

  4. BoyBlur says:

    Permanently remove and dispose of all non native born inmates from Balsum
    Permanently remove and dispose of inmates who are offsprings of non locals.

    That alone will immediately free up millions of dollars.

    This issue is the elephant in the room. There is no larger drain on Gov funds with no diminish in sight than this issue. Get real.I dare you.

    • Hmm hmm says:

      At least half a billion immediately, in one swoop.
      That could take care of a lot of classrooms and build hurricane resistant schools.

    • captain says:

      @ BoyBlur I will personally deliver to any caribbean country East or West any and ALL inmates who DO NOT have a BVI psassport.
      Too much $$$$ is being wasted on these guys living FREE up @ BALO
      Time to get REAL and clean up the place and put the money to meaningful use
      I am with you on this one .

      I DARE THEM (Politicians)
      Let them put the others on BVI Airways

    • Ningaloo says:

      This is a disgrace! First we get hurricanes, now we have foreign elephants in Balo! Government must act now.

  5. Diaspora says:

    Lots of property owners lost their roof with the onslaught of Hurricane Irma and Maria. Their priority is getting their room back on stronger than the one that was lifted and blown off. Their focus now is not worrying about whether the flooring is tile, wood or carpet. Similarly, the terriyory’s focus should be on recovery. No doubt the recovery effort will include things that are upgrade and improvements. Nonetheless, agree with Luce that there should be two separate plans moving on parallel tracks. Recovery should be the priority with development following along. The airport extension costing $250M is a want, not a need. It can wait.

  6. Dumbos says:

    Luce for education! Tell them Luce yes sah.

  7. My take says:

    This lady hit the nail on the head. She has articulated herself well. The NDP is a really set of c——-.

  8. Irma's brother says:

    I foresee another snap election. Let the dust settle about Recovery & Development and the donations and other type aid start coming in. Don’t say I didn’t mention it. Note the UK will only oversee the loan spending. Give it a few more months, when the wheels start to spin, BAM! Snap Elections. “So why change the Government and they doing so well”. Money talk and you know what walk. Short memory. Beware, if my sister send me next time, there will be wailing and nashing of teeth. LOL!!!!

  9. Hmm says:

    Why did they put Roderick who has no experience in dealing with a recovery plan to head this plan.

    This thing should have been headed by a board that has an economist and engineer on it. I hope the Governor who has a strong qualified background in public management watches this thing closely.

  10. Governor says:

    I am watching

  11. Youth says:

    on a separate note can somebody tell me when we will get back the multipurpose centre so we can have activities.

    How long them people going be in there. It is not a shelter.

  12. Retired teacher says:

    it is now

  13. Dog man says:

    U going home now . Yes dr.do what u do best lolololololo

  14. Retired says:

    I totally agree with Ms. Luce Hodge-Smith. The airport expansion is NOT a recovery project. The airport expansion is a development project for construction AFTER all the flood/Irma/Maria recovery projects are completed in this decade or the next.

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