More than 40 petty contracts are expected to be disbursed from the $6.1 million allocated for the rehabilitation of the National Sewerage Programme East End/Long Look Project that is projected to be completed by the end of 2021.
This is according to the Premier and Minister of Finance, Andrew Fahie who said during the recent relaunching ceremony of the sewerage project that this initiative will allow for many local contractors to gain employment.
He said: “There have enough parts of this project that have been burst up. I think it is over 40 petty contractors or even more — enough for everyone. But you have to register.”
“We made sure that we put a registration for all contractors in the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Transportation also have a register. So go and register because that is where now we would take the names from seeing that you are registered and updated,” the Premier stated.
Amendments made to make initiative legal
In addition to the recently implemented registers, Premier Fahie said that his government made a few amendments to the laws of the territory that legally enables this many contractors to benefit from one major project.
“The first thing that they’re going to ask is how could we break up this project in so many petty contracts? Isn’t that illegal? Well, if you do that in the real true form of how the Public Finance Management Act is, then the Auditor General can come and tell you in their words, in their definition that this is contract-splitting and there’s an issue with it,” he said.
He added: “In the middle of the COVID-19, we recognised that we had to do some adjustments and amendments to the laws and the regulations, so we created a new policy that during pandemics, during emergencies, during disasters, during catastrophic events, that you can allow for these to happen providing that there’s going to be strict project management and some strict vigilance over the project, so that we could be accountable.”
The money is approved to get project going
Premier Fahie also said it is long overdue to have the sewerage project finally started and that his government was going to ensure that the problem which existed for decades in the Seventh and Eighth districts is finally resolved.
He said his government secured $4 million of the $6,142,500 as a ‘grant’ allocation to have the project started. He added that the remaining $2,142,500 will be budgeted for.
“Now this government has come and yes we saw that $8 million float right down to the cruise ship pier and yes they paid back some but they never paid it back to the project. It went elsewhere, it did not come back to you the people of East End Long Look,” he said.
“When they went to go and do that the third time we were in and we told them no, not this time give us some money to start back this project, you had it long enough. We went there, we demanded the money and brought it over and put it into the East End/Long Look sewage project, $3 million of it. Then we went and we got some from the TRC – of which the Minister of Finance does have the authority to say where that money goes contrary to what persons say the law allows it – and put an extra million into the East End/Long Look project,” he explained.
Project to be done in three phases
Meanwhile, Works Minister for Transportation Kye Rymer explained that the project will be conducted in three phases.
He said: “Phase one, we will execute preliminary works to include the preparation of a staging area and the procurement of pertinent material and equipment. During this phase we will also be undertaking a household assessment of the required residential connection.”
“The purpose of this assessment is to obtain specific data as to the type of waste generated. The household demands based on the number of bathrooms and the most suitable location for connection to the public sewerage system among other requirements,” he added.
During this first phase, community meetings will be had so residents and business owners will be consulted to discuss viable access to their homes and businesses. In addition, signage will be placed through the affected communities to indicate the various road closures.
Phase two will include the installation of gravity lines, pumping mains and house lateral pipe lanes, manholes and pump stations which will be conducted between the Parham Town to Paraquita Bay areas.
The final phase will include an assessment and repair of the outfall lines at Brandywine Bay and the execution of repairs. It will also include the commission of the wastewater treatment plant system at Paraquita Bay. There will also be sludge drying beds that will be established in the Paraquita Bay area, the minister said.
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