Works Minister Mark Vanterpool on Monday maintained that the Cruise Pier Project did not have a cost overrun because the $50 million estimate that government initially gave for the controversial project was an ‘incomplete assessment’.
Government has been under considerable pressure for the last two years concerning the project, which had a final reported cost of $82.9 million. This represents more than $30 million above the initial estimate.
While citing a report from consultancy firm, BCQS International, Vanterpool said the final project estimate of more than $80 million “was fair for the development of this project”.
And while dismissing concerns about a cost overrun as ‘negative talk’, Vanterpool said: “The initial cost for the entire Cruise Pier Project was estimated at $50 million, but this was not based on any final and approved designs. However, once the plans were completed and as construction progressed, the estimate was revised to approximately $85 million.”
He continued: “Why didn’t the BVI Ports Authority prepare its own estimates? The answer is: Time was not on the side of the BVI Ports Authority to do this, as they already had contractual arrangements with Disney and Norwegian Cruise Lines to deliver this project by a specific deadline.”
Vanterpool then said it was not possible for the project to be completed for $50 million.
But, despite the Works Minister’s assertion, residents have continued to question why government only announced their so-called ‘true estimated cost of more than $80 million’ until after the project was completed.
Meanwhile, the Premier Dr D Orlando Smith-led government commissioned a cruise pier audit back in 2016 to ‘silence the critics’. But, up to present-day, the results of that audit has still not been released.
The Premier’s latest claim in relation to why the pier park audit is still incomplete is that former BVI Ports Authority employees with intimate knowledge of the cruise pier project are behind the delay.
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