Representative of the Second Electoral District Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull has dismissed criticism and claims that he has allowed a contractor from outside Cane Garden Bay to be selected over an area contractor to undertake the Cane Garden Bay Revetment Project.
The contract for the project is valued at just over $500,000 and was awarded to Ports and Marine.
It will facilitate rebuilding of a seawall to – among other things – prevent further erosion of the roadway in a section of Cane Garden Bay.
But some residents are dissatisfied that a contractor who lives and does business in the area, Melvin Hodge, was not selected for the project. It is further said that Hodge voluntarily helped to curtail erosion in the area following Tropical Storm Otto in 2010.
The District representative, Turnbull, is being accused of allowing an outside contractor to win the bid.
But Turnbull yesterday told BVI News Online that he had no influence over who was awarded the contract, considering that the project is being done by the European Union, through the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
“There is no issue with me and Melvin Hodge,” added Turnbull.
“It was not a Government project; it’s not something that I directed or allowed the government to make a decision of who would be awarded the contract. This was not a government-issued contract; it was a contract issued through the OECS, and monies were provided for this project through the European Union. It is out of my hands.”
Turnbull further explained that, as District representative, he ensured that residents were made aware of the project before the deadline for bids to have been submitted.
“They had about two or three months to submit their applications. We had meetings with the contractors through the Ministry of Natural Resources partnering with Communication and Works, and the team from OECS. The applications were submitted.”
“When the tender process was finished, Ports and Marine – which is Mr Derek Maduro and his group – was selected as the top bidder, and they were awarded the contract. The contract is also being done in three phases – a phase that is going to continue in Brewer’s Bay, and then also a phase that was awarded to another contractor that is going to deal with the sewerage issue right behind the Ivan Dawson Primary School where the sewerage treatment plant was,” Turnbull further noted.
When the project was launched last month, Minister of Natural Resources and Labour Dr Kedrick Pickering said Government is contributing some $230,000 towards it.
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