Communications and Works Minister, Kye Rymer, has suggested that there may be some misconceptions on the part of persons who look at the territory’s large annual budget and question the state of the territory’s infrastructure.
As he addressed colleagues in the House of Assembly recently, Rymer expressed that he, too, has learned some valuable lessons after serving his first term in office as a government minister.
“It was four years ago when I stood here excited; excited about addressing the concerns of our territory. But it’s only when you get there you understand how things work,” the Works Minister said.
Rymer pointed to the territory’s nearly $400 million annual budget and suggested that the magnitude may be misleading to some observers. He argued that while it sounded good to hear that the government has hundreds of millions at its disposal each year, very little of that budget is directed to his ministry to execute projects.
“I just want persons to know, for development projects in my ministry – that includes water, roads, the administration complex, Burt Point sewerage plant, East End/Long Look sewerage plant – we only get 12 to 16 million of that annually to get anything done,” Rymer said.
Despite this fact, however, Rymer said he felt his Ministry still made some progress during his first term in office. However, he stressed that there is still a lot left to be done.
“I just want it to be known that it’s not for a lack of wanting to get these things done, but it’s because… you can only spend what you have,” the minister said.
He added: “But I know my good Minister of Finance has committed to getting some money so that we can achieve all these outstanding issues.”
Rymer said his ministry will focus on improving the territory’s water supply, sewerage system and developing renewable energy. This, he noted, is expected to be done in conjunction with road improvement, enhancing transportation, and improving the city of Road Town.
Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley acknowledged recently that the government will have to seek loan funding to execute some of the badly-needed infrastructure projects of the territory.
“[The current state] doesn’t reflect our economy and it doesn’t reflect what it is we want for ourselves,” the Premier said. “So we’re very much committed to borrowing, to improving our infrastructure and giving us that world-class infrastructure that our people deserve.”
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