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Rymer replies: Private and public roads can be built at the same time

Minister of Transportation & Works, Kye Rymer.

Works Minister Kye Rymer has described as “unfortunate”, the notion that his ministry is focusing on private roads and property to the detriment of public roads in the BVI.

The notion to which Rymer referred was mentioned in an audit report issued by Auditor General (AG) Sonia Webster. That section of the report was examined when Webster appeared before the Commission of Inquiry (COI) this week.

The report read: “The government has a policy whereby retaining walls and roads are constructed on private property for the purpose of compensating persons who would give up land to accommodate expansion or improvement of public roads; preventing erosion of soil onto public roads, [and] preventing the erosion of private property after the construction widening for public road.”

The report also said a substantial amount of the Public Works Department’s time and resources are placed into performing assessments, costing, preparing petty contracts, and monitoring works carried out on private property.

Gov’t funds should not be used on private property

COI attorney Bilal Rawat questioned the AG about whether petty contracts being used in that way amounts to an abuse of the state.

“It does,” Webster replied. “I do consider that is in fact, the case. And, this is a practice that continues even as we speak. And I’m sitting here with the knowledge that, I can witness a retaining wall that was built on private property, close to where my home is. And, this was something that happened this year. So it’s a practice that continues, basically.”

“The public expects and deserves to have priority given to public roads, which are generally in disrepair,” Webster stated.

She continued: “It’s beyond comprehension how we can be spending money on private property when we are, in fact, ignoring to meet the obligations of the government, which is to ensure that infrastructure is up to standards. And this is what this actually speaks to. The priority needs to be given to public roads as opposed to spending on public private property.”

Webster said she believed that government funds should not be used on private property. She added that this is the acceptable, good standard practice globally – public funds are for public purposes.

Unfortunate comment

During the VIP’s Let’s Talk radio show last evening, a caller raised the issue about the AG’s report and asked Rymer for his comments on the matter.

The Works Minister explained that the area mentioned in the report was in a community that housed many persons and the District Representative that oversees the area thought it prudent to repair a retaining wall to shore up the road to make it safe for the residents to traverse.

“I kind of find it a bit unfortunate that it was mentioned that more attention should be paid to the major roads. But that is something that we work on simultaneously in terms of doing community projects,” Minister Rymer said.

He also applauded the Public Works Department and his Ministry for their hard work. He said procurement processes are still being followed in executing the projects, which he noted followed a transparent process.

Minister Rymer said District Representatives generally had the discretion to do community projects which they felt would be of benefit to the residents. He said this was one such instance.

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14 Comments

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  1. WTF says:

    The road leading into Free Bottom in front the place that sells sand(before Crystal’s)is beyond terrible…

    Like 33
    • Truth says:

      I drove pass there almost everyday but yesterday annoyed me alot! I could not stop screaming RIDICULOUS while going up and down in those holes. LIKE COME!!!!!!!!! YOU GUYS ARE ANNOYING NOW MAN!

      Like 13
  2. OFF SUBJECT says:

    THE ONLY THING THAT WOULD MAKE MY DAY IS IF WE GET BREAKING NEWS STATING THAT THE PREMIER AND HIS ENTIRE CABINET HAS AGREED TO STEP DOWN EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.

    Like 55
    Dislike 6
  3. Crystal says:

    The public road just before you enter where the private wall is been built just after jeriki’s place is terrible.

  4. Don't completely agree says:

    Building a retaining wall on private property can serve the public interest, if that wall helps to preserve a public road.

    Like 18
    Dislike 3
    • Not the public purse says:

      If someone constructs a driveway, building or wall in such a way that it imperils a public road, it falls to them to repair it. If Public Works needs to step in, the property owner needs to pay. You can’t build a cheap, under-engineered structure and then expect the government, at public expense, to fix it.

      Like 17
      • nick says:

        government should hold some contractors responsible for their actions:paraquita road,they dig a trench last week to install a pipe or cables.Look at the mess it is now and it is also very dangerous too.I am pretty sure it will stay like that yntill an accident happen.

        • Cathy says:

          Public and private roads can be built together but are the public roads being built?

          They are building walls to protect the roads against erosion but Leaving the road they dig up in a deplorable state. Nothing is being fully completed. Take a look at the ridge road between Jenning Hill and Bellevue and the area up from QWOMA. Please complete the roads. The walls were completed a while. Geez man!

  5. Just my two cent says:

    I would be soo upset if you see the COI leave and these politician whether VIP, NDP or any P go back to their dishonest ways. I aint crazy about the UK taking over but what other choice do we have? They moving like dictators dont listen to the cries of the people.

    to add insult to injury instead they correct their bad behavior they want to turn this into a black vs. white issue. Listen you so-call untouchables if you dont want the white man to take over, do your dam job the people elected you to do and stop lining the pockets of your cronies.

    Ah fed up.

    Like 49
    Dislike 1
  6. Deh Watcha says:

    You cannot be private with the public’s money.

    Like 19
    Dislike 2
  7. Rubber Duck says:

    I liked him previously and had great hopes. But it seems serving in the government of Premier Stasi is doing him no good at all.

    The government building walls and roads for private individuals. ( who will of course be ministers and civil servants ) is completely wrong while public roads are third world and education is worse.

    Like 25
    Dislike 5
  8. Dense says:

    That Auditor General sounds stupid. Her comments are subjective and fails to exemplify the work of an auditor. Did she issue any quarterly or semi-annual report to the Premier or individual to whom she reports regarding her findings before this? SMH

  9. We See You says:

    There are number of Civil Servants working in this guy department that are allegedly currently receiving some of the (SPECIAL PRIVILEGES) that are mentioned in addition to him also building their house for them. The COI needs to take a closer look at this guy.

  10. deplorable says:

    There’s a road in CGB right next to the police station that cars tired slide over the side. the only reason someone has not been seriously hurt is because of the thick bush on the side. They came the other day and drop some concrete in the craters that had formed. Let’s see how long it last with the way the water comes off the hill. I have had to replace my front end of my jeep already.

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