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DeCastro on roads: Where is the value for money?

Sharie DeCastro

Sharie DeCastro

Former general election candidate of the Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Sharie DeCastro has questioned whether the territory received value for money in relation to a multi-million dollar road repair project being undertaken by Government.

Minister of Communication and Works Mark Vanterpool recently told the House of Assembly that, of the $16 million loan borrowed from the Social Security Board to undertake the project, roughly $12.3 million was spent up to November 31, 2016.

DeCastro, not convinced that there has been value for money, took to Facebook to vent.

“I am convinced now more than ever that our government officials drive on private roads that we – the ordinary people – do not see or have access to! Please be honest! Who can see or feel a $12.3M improvement of roads in the Virgin Islands? That is how much the government has spent thus far of the $16M unsecured loan it borrowed from the Social Security Board for road works back in 2015 before the snap election. Where is the value for money? I really wouldn’t like to see what the remaining $3.7M will do!” DeCastro lamented.

She continued: “My heart literally hurts for my country! Politics without principles! Wealth without work! Where is the accountability? We have to speak up! I will stand on principle even if I stand alone! I’m not looking for likes. I’m looking for people who love this country enough to publicly stand up, say enough is enough and demand positive change.”

Meanwhile, in the House of Assembly recently, Vanterpool, in response to questions posed by Opposition member Andrew Fahie, tried to explain how the funds were expended.

“To summarize, Madam Speaker, so far, we have spent $12,294,866.03 of the $16 million as of 31st November, 2016. The details of how this money was spent is detailed in the report presented to this Honorable House. This leaves a balance of $3,705,133.97 in the loan fund,” Vanterpool said.

He continued: “The remaining funds will be used to continue road works in the areas of Sea Cows Bay Manual Reef Marina to Ebenezer Thomas Primary School, Belle Vue Church of God Prophecy Entrance to Spring Ghut, Baugher’s Bay Public Works Department Junction to Baugher’s Bay Beach entrance, Waterfront Drive below Road Town Jetty to Mac Namarra Junction, Anegada main road leading to Cow Wreck Hotel and Beach Bar, and Jost Van Dyke – Rudy’s Bar to Foxy’s Restaurant – ‘Bottom Road.”

Vanterpool: I asked that the project be more clearly defined to ensure that the Port Authority doesn't spend more than it should on the project.


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