Works Minister: Full Budget Statement

February 21, 2011

Deputy Premier and Public Works Minister Derrick Burgess said Bermuda “may be assured that even with a reduction in the current account and capital allocations for the next fiscal year” his porfolio will adhere to its mission and meet its objectives.

Speaking at a press conference following the Budget Statement, the Minister said garbage collection will be extended from the current four-day period to all five week days  — a move which “will save a considerable amount of money and will reflect better management.”

He also said Government would install a new turbine at the Tynes Bay incinerator which will produce power for Belco and said a final plan was in the works to dispose of asbestos which has been stockpiled in Bermuda for more than 20 years.

The Works Minister also outlined updgades to the West End’s water supply system and said there would be infrastructure improvements at Ocean View Golf Club, the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo and the Port Royal Tennis Courts.

Mr. Burgess said he was optimistic ground would be broken on the proposed 9Beaches and Morgan’s Point resort developments within the next year.

The Works Minister’s full statement appears below:

Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve, made the following statement not long ago: “Over the years, the U.S. economy has shown a remarkable ability to absorb shocks of all kinds, to recover, and to continue to grow. Flexible and efficient markets for labor and capital, an entrepreneurial tradition, and a general willingness to tolerate and even embrace technological and economic change all contribute to this resiliency.”

Mindful of the National Budget Statement so brilliantly delivered this morning by our Premier and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Paula A. Cox, [and here, Premier, I wish to congratulate you on a difficult job exceedingly well done!], I offer the following adaptation of the Federal Chairman’s remarks:

“In recent years, Bermuda’s economy, like economies throughout the world, has had to absorb shocks of all kinds and to recover. Flexible, prudent and efficient management of the Island’s Finance portfolio, an entrepreneurial tradition, the ability of most of us to tighten our belts when required and a general willingness in the community to tolerate and accept economic change all contribute to this strength and resiliency.”

The Budget for 2011/12 reminds all Bermudians of the rocky road ahead. However, careful analysis of the Budget for fiscal 2011/12 reveals that the Government, even as it trims the national expenditure by more than $100 million dollar, is ever mindful of the social, educational and health needs of the people, its senior citizens and young people in particular. These will not be compromised.

As we consider the Budget for fiscal 2011/12, let’s be guided by the following words of an unknown author: A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn. The people of Bermuda may be assured that with Premier Paula Cox at the helm, supported by a Cabinet committed to doing what is best for Bermuda and her people, we will make the turn in the road and move again towards the kind of economic strength to which we have become accustomed!

In the National Budget for 2011/2012, the Ministry of Public Works, comprised of Ministry Headquarters [Head 36], the Department of Conservation Services [Heasd 69], the Department of Parks [Head 68] and the Department of Works and Engineering [Head 82], by far the largest of our Departments with an allocation of $33,658,00 for fiscal 2011/12, has been allocated the total sum of $55,999,000 ($4,278,000 or 7% less than last year] for current account and $40,326,000 ($529,000 or 1.3% more than last year] for capital expenditure.

The mandate of the Ministry of Public Works is legislated through The Public Works Act 1984, soon to be amended as a result of the restructuring of the Ministry that occurred last November. This legislation charges the Minister with responsibility for “the management of all public lands, public roads, public water supply, public sewage schemes, public buildings and highways, and the construction, erection, improvement, maintenance and repair of such lands, works, water supply, sewerage schemes, buildings and highways as aforesaid”. It is to be noted that when the legislation is amended, responsibility for public lands and public buildings will transfer to the Minister of Public Information Services.

Specifically, the Ministry’s  mission is to effectively provide and maintain quality public works which respect Bermuda’s residents, visitors and unique environment. We shall deliver these services with pride and a commitment to improve the quality of life for all.

The people of Bermuda may be assured that even with a reduction in the current account and capital allocations for the next fiscal year, the Ministry of Public Works will adhere to its mission and meet its objectives for the year, even where there has been a reduction in allocated funding: The Ministry will not lose sight of the following outcomes:

  • • A Bermuda that has confidence that built infrastructure is safe and sustainable for future generations
  • • A Bermuda that has confidence that resources are being managed effectively
  • • A Government that accommodates its staff in a safe and healthy environment
  • • Delivery of services in a cost effective, legal and ethical manner
  • • A high level of customer and staff satisfaction

I shall now highlight a few programmes/initiatives whereby the Ministry’s Mission will be carried out and its objectives realized, bearing in mind at all time the critical importance of cost effectiveness and prudent management of human resources:

I — DISPOSAL OF ASBESTOS-CONTAINING MATERIALS [Department of Operations and Engineering]

The Government will proceed with the disposal of asbestos-containing material (ACM) that have been stockpiled in Bermuda for the past thirty years awaiting suitable disposal. Currently, these materials are stored in approximately 650 shipping containers at the Government Quarry and the former U.S. Base Lands at Southside. As a result of ongoing deterioration of the storage containers, it is essential that a disposal method be developed for the currently stored ACM and for the ACM which has yet to be removed from structures in Bermuda. The Government will select from a number of options the means whereby this long existing problem will be addressed.

II – COLLECTION OF SOLID WASTE

Currently, the garbage is collected over a four day period. Fiscal 2011/12 will see collection on all five days, a change that will save a considerable amount of money and will reflect better management of garbage collection. Phase IB of the refurbishment of the facilities at Marsh Folly will take place during fiscal 2011/12

III – REFURBISHMENT/UPGRADING OF TYNES BAY WASTE TO ENERGY FACILITY

One of the Ministry’s major objectives is the safe disposal of the Island’s solid waste. In this regard, the refurbishment/upgrading of Tynes Bay Waste-to Energy Facility remains one of the Ministry’s most important – and certainly most expensive initiatives:

A total of $19,000,000 has been allocated for this initiative during fiscal 2011/12, as follows:

  • Complete New Ash Plant $668,000
  • Complete Fire Protection Installation $900,000
  • New Water Treatment Plant $1,500,000
  • Part of Seawater Plant Upgrade $6,000,000
  • Tender and order Steam Turbine $2,700,000
  • Commence integration works for steam turbine $1,500,000
  • Engineering and Project Management $690,000
  • Virement to CEP 75308 to cover shortfall $5,000,000

Another $8,000,000 has been allocated for the following reasons:

  • Return Bales from Stream 2 $700,000
  • Baling for stream 1 $1,500,000
  • Provision of Crane for stream 1 $700,000
  • Refurbish Incinerator stream 1 $8,000,000 Contract already awarded and in progress
  • Replace ESP stream 1 $3,200,000 Contract already awarded and in progress

IV – BERMUDA LAND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LIMITED [BLDC] AND WEST END DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION [WEDCo]

The BLDC and WEDCo, both of which fall within the remit of the Minister of Public Works, will during fiscal 2011/12 will play a leading role with respect to the Morgan’s Point Resort Act 2012 And the sub lease with respect to the 9 Beaches Development at Daniel’s Head, Sandys. Both of these developments involve significant investment in tourism infrastructure and are of critical importance to the Island’s tourism industry.

The Ministry of Public Works protects the public and enhances public safety by designing, construction and maintaining the country’s infrastructure. This Ministry ensures that the public have a safe water supply, that the roads are maintained and that the bridges are safe to cross.

V — MEETING THE ISLANDS’ WATER NEEDS [Water Section, Department of Operations and Engineering]

Currently, our staff is stretched to the max from East to West. With the agreement with Watlington Water Works, there will be much needed relief in the western area. Watlington will take care of a major portion of the west end’s water supply. In fact, the first phase of the trenching work, scheduled to be completed towards the end of March, will see an increase of some 3,000,000 gallons of water available to the west end.

Also at Tynes Bay the second phase of the Reverse Osmosis Plant will be operational, providing an additional 500,000 gallons a day to the central area.

In the East End we are completing the installation of two plants, one in St. George’s and one at Marginal Wharf. These will see a marked increase in the amount of potable water available to the east end of the Island.

VI – MAINTENANCE OF ROADS

The Ministry will better manage its road resurfacing programme during fiscal 2011/12, as it costs more to resurface a road during the winter months [losing many hours because of poor weather]. Therefore only essential resurfacing will take place during eh winter months. Staff who during the winter months would normally be deployed to the roads will be reassigned to other Ministry tasks. It is our intent to keep everyone employed during fiscal20

VII – INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS

The playground equipment at some of our parks has reached the end of its lifecycle, so we will be installing new equipment in a number of areas. Also, there will be some infrastructure improvements at Ocean View Golf Club, the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo and the Port Royal Tennis Courts. will have two play areas, one for toddlers through to 5 years, and the second area will be designed with more challenging pieces for ages 5 through 12. This is an extremely popular playground at the eastern end of the island.

The playground at Clearwater Beach will be renovated. The management of the playground will soon be transferred to the Department of Parks, and our first priority will be to renovate the site by designing and installing a completely new playground for the enjoyment of the visitors to the park.

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