Many are aware of the Economic Stimulus Programme launched by my colleague, the substantive Minister of Public Works, Lt. Col. David Burch, on December 17 2020. Across the island are signs indicating where projects are ongoing.
With a maximum budget of $13,385,000, many small to medium-sized contractors have taken up the offer to participate in this opportunity.
The programme is tasked with addressing the urgent need to provide stimulus to the local economy in order to retain and boost employment numbers in the wake of the economic downturn sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It involves the Ministry of Public Works compiling a list of “shovel ready” projects that can be quickly executed. These projects are mostly infrastructure improvements that will not add further burden to government operational expenses. The project’s selection principles are to maximize the private sector’s employment while providing much-needed refreshing of neglected infrastructure.
The guiding principle is to prioritize all companies that provide the most employment benefit per dollar spent while spreading the work among Bermudian owned and operated businesses.
With that said, I am excited to be here on location to announce the completion of phase one of the Elbow Beach public stair access and its official reopening.
The contract, valued at $199.954.94, was awarded to Smith Hauling and Excavating.
The project commenced on May 17 of this year and was completed on time and within budget on July 28. I am extremely pleased to advise that this project employed seven individuals and of that number, three were new workers.
The first phase included replacing the old damaged wooden stair access with a robust boulder support foundation and concrete stairs. This new structure should withstand future hurricanes and storms for many years.
Regarding other projects stemming from the Economic Stimulus Programme, I am pleased to advise that seven other projects have also been completed. They include:
• MDL Lab;
• Artemis Building A – Loading Dock Repairs;
• Road Side Fencing Project 5 – Mullet Bay Road St Georges;
• Road Side Fencing 1 – Smith’s South Road;
• Road Side Fencing 3 – Government Hill;
• Dock Maintenance Pack 2; and
• Dock Maintenance Pack 3.
Also currently, the following 11 projects are ongoing:
• Flatts Bridge handrail
• Artemis building B Interior Work
• New Plant Inspection Building at Botanical Gardens
• Verandah repairs at Camden
• Road Side Fencing Project 2
• Darrell’s Wharf Dock Repairs
• Agriculture Service Center – Engineering and Design Services –
• Quarry Carpentry Shop – Electrical Design Services –
• Judicial Department (DLBE) – Interior Design and FFE services –
• Artemis Building B – Wash-down Area –; and
• Wastewater section landscaping project A-C
Several projects are also in the RFQ and evaluation phase, including the cleaning of the Pembroke Canal, removal of roadside vegetation, Quarry Slate Shelter, and the Waste Water Section Landscaping project D to E.
The bottom line and perhaps of the utmost importance to the people of Bermuda are the numbers employed.
While I await job figures from all the contractors, I can confirm from those submitted that the Economic Stimulus Programme has created at least 45 jobs, with 36 of them going to Bermudians.
To say I am proud of the entire team at the Ministry would be an understatement. They have all been working extremely hard on this initiative led by consultant Project Manager, Mr. Robert Richardson, who is responsible for coordinating the work of all those involved. I must give credit where it is due, and so publicly, I thank them all for their efforts.
We are delighted with the progress made thus far from both the contractors and employees.
I am equally proud to say that the Economic Stimulus Programme is an excellent example of the Ministry of Public Works commitment to advancing capital projects that keep our people employed while strengthening the infrastructure of our entire island home.
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