Premier On Morgan’s Point: ‘Work Has Begun’

October 1, 2012

[Updated with video] “I am pleased to announce that work has begun,” Premier Paula Cox said today [Oct 1] at a press conference held to update on progress for the hotel development at the Morgan’s Point site.

The Morgan’s Point project is scheduled to include a luxury hotel and condominium project, a golf course, a marina, boat launching and docking facilities, beach clubs, tennis courts, restaurants, shops and more.

“We have started the remediation work which is the responsibility of the Government and is necessary to prepare the site for the construction. This project is being managed by the Office of Project Management and Procurement [OPMP],” Premier Cox said.

Premier Cox continued: “OPMP has already begun to secure the perimeter of the Southampton site and to clear vegetation and other unnecessary obstacles in order for asbestos abatement works to begin in earnest on 8th October, 2012.

“One of the challenges that we have discovered is that many persons have used the vacant land to store their property. Both the Government and the developers must ensure that there is no risk to life and limb and that all building equipment that is on the property is secured.

“Therefore, we can no longer allow unauthorised entry to or unauthorised storage on the site,” continued Premier Cox. “For the duration of the works, only personnel authorised by OPMP will be allowed access to the site… ”

Premier Cox also talked about employment opportunities saying: “The OPMP is currently negotiating with all known certified asbestos remediation companies to allocate specific buildings for each of them to work on.  In other words, rather than tendering and allowing only one company to benefit, we will be ensuring that contractors ‘share the wealth’.

“Not only will contractors be benefitting. This strategy will provide opportunities to some of our unemployed Bermudians,” said Premier Cox.

“Traditionally, Bermuda has not had enough skilled and qualified people working in the asbestos abatement field. I am pleased to announce today that, OPMP, in conjunction with the Department of Labor & Training, will be offering up to 40 currently unemployed persons the chance to attend a free four-day training seminar to certify them as competent in working with asbestos.

“The Department of Labour and Training is currently short-listing suitable persons who will go through the recruitment process that will qualify them for employment.

“After qualification, Government will work with the contractors to ensure that as many employment opportunities as possible are given to these trained personnel on the Morgan’s’ Point project. Interested persons may apply at the Department of Labour and Training.”

The Premier’s full statement follows below:

Good morning,

I am pleased to provide an update on the work that is being done to progress the hotel development at the Morgan’s Point site.

With me today is the Chairman of the Morgan’s Point steering committee, Mrs. Janet Albion, Interim Director of the Office of Project Management and Procurement and Ms. Rozy Azhar, Assistant Cabinet Secretary, a member of the Committee.

The Steering Committee is an intra-agency board composed of the Financial Secretary and Permanent Secretaries from the Public Works; Government Estates and Information Services; Environment Planning and Infrastructure.

Mr. Craig Christensen representing the principals of Morgan’s Point Limited, who are developing the site, attends the steering committee meetings as an ex-officio member. Mr. Christensen has been working very closely with the Office of Project Management and Procurement.

This demonstrates Government’s commitment to working closely with the developers to progress this development and to ensure that we meet our commitments on schedule and within the allocated budget.

Like many others, the Greens who have recently purchased Fairmont Hamilton, Equator Re, the Irish company that has domiciled in Bermuda; Link Bermuda; and our other loyal local, insurance and international companies, the Morgan’s Point developers believe in the rejuvenation of Bermuda and in hard working Bermudians. As a result, this project will provide jobs for our people in the short-term, medium-term and long-term.

I am pleased to announce that work has begun!

We have started the remediation work which is the responsibility of the Government and is necessary to prepare the site for the construction. This project is being managed by the Office of Project Management and Procurement [OPMP].

OPMP has already begun to secure the perimeter of the Southampton site and to clear vegetation and other unnecessary obstacles in order for asbestos abatement works to begin in earnest on 8th October, 2012.

One of the challenges that we have discovered is that many persons have used the vacant land to store their property. Both the Government and the developers must ensure that there is no risk to life and limb and that all building equipment that is on the property is secured.

Therefore, we can no longer allow unauthorised entry to or unauthorised storage on the site. You will be aware that public notices have been issued this week to advise owners of boats, equipment and other unauthorised items currently stored at Morgan’s that they need to remove their property from the site to allow the works to progress.

For the duration of the works, only personnel authorised by OPMP will be allowed access to the site, and this includes access via the bays and waterways. While these steps are necessary, the remediation work poses very little risk to the environment and the public.

In the next few weeks, the OPMP will set up a dedicated website to allow the public to see progress on site. The website will also include links to the developer’s site when it becomes available.

You will remember that in May 2012, I issued a press statement on how the procurement processes would benefit Bermudians in which I stated: “The Office of Project Management and Procurement has almost completed the recruitment of project managers which will provide direct management of more complex projects allowing for the increased use of smaller businesses.

This is intended to spread the wealth and reduce the risk of over- reliance on only the limited number of general contractors. There will be an announcement in due course on one major project that is intended to involve a number of small contractors, under the guidance of an OPMP project manager, to complete the first phase of the project.”

I am pleased to highlight that this is the project that I was alluding to. The OPMP is currently negotiating with all known certified asbestos remediation companies to allocate specific buildings for each of them to work on. In other words, rather than tendering and allowing only one company to benefit, we will be ensuring that contractors ‘share the wealth’.

Not only will contractors be benefitting. This strategy will provide opportunities to some of our unemployed Bermudians.

Traditionally, Bermuda has not had enough skilled and qualified people working in the asbestos abatement field. I am pleased to announce today that, OPMP, in conjunction with the Department of Labor & Training, will be offering up to 40 currently unemployed persons the chance to attend a free four-day training seminar to certify them as competent in working with asbestos.

The Department of Labour and Training is currently short-listing suitable persons who will go through the recruitment process that will qualify them for employment.

After qualification, Government will work with the contractors to ensure that as many employment opportunities as possible are given to these trained personnel on the Morgan’s’ Point project. Interested persons may apply at the Department of Labour and Training.

This initiative will allow us to expand the number of certified Bermudians in the field, thereby reducing our dependency on overseas resources and prepare our people not only for employment on the remediation project but for future opportunities as well.

This Government is committed to providing the infrastructure to encourage investment in Bermuda and by, doing so, getting all of our people back to full employed.

Thank you.

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  1. street wise says:

    Busy, busy, busy! Is there by chance an election in the offing…?

    :)

  2. Pete Tong says:

    Work has begun where?. Show us images of the excavation equipment digging the place up. This is electioneering propaganda..

    • i gotta be me says:

      and wth does SHE have to do with it? the development of Morgan’s Point is a private enterprise…

    • ABM says:

      I take it you have never been to Morgans Point have you?

      • Come Correct says:

        They have already demolished a few buildings haven’t they? I think that’s what those big piles of twisted steel and rubble were. If the government was really smart though, they would have volunteers (KBB) or someone for a small fee (by weight maybe) pick up as many of the blank round casings fired by the regiment and sell the brass. Before anyone says you will never find them, the GPMG (general purpose machine gun) ejects belts of empty cartidges from the bottom. There would be piles of thousands of rounds all over. I guarentee you could find over 1000lbs of brass in a day, matter of fact, if you were an inmate in for a petty crime eligable for parole that would look pretty good to the parole board wouldn’t it? Person with the most weight in brass wins a get out of jail free card lol. Bang free labour and funding for mirrors… If I was any more of a genius I’d amaze myself :D .

    • pepper says:

      Do you remember MR,Hunt one of the owners at Morgans point sitting in a pay loader ?well he said work was under way !!!! that was over a year ago.
      Premier says work is under way !!!!!!!I do not know who to believe anymore.

  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    Soooo….after all of the fluffy waffle has been filtered out what she is really trying to say is that the developers want all of the junk, that Government has allowed to be dumped on the property over the past 14 years, removed before any real development can start.

    Put another way, if Government had kept the property secure with proper fencing all of this time, there would be no need for huge expense, on the publics dime, to clean up the site for the new owners.

    Another misspeak or a simple we have to decieve you? Slap all the lipstick on the pig that you can. It is still a pig.

  4. Call us ... says:

    Please call us when actual development starts. You know, when the developers actually break ground.

    All this announcement says is that government is going to clean the place up.

    • ABM says:

      Ground has been broken. I know this cause thats where I store my boat.

      • Captain no-one says:

        So how much storage were you paying ? How did you access it when you wanted to get to it ? Hell, how did you even get to put it there in the first place ?
        I’ve been looking for a convenient/inexpensive place in the west end to store a boat during off season for years .

        Every time I’ve been by the ‘gate’ it’s secured or there’s people there who won’t let me get within 50 feet of it.

      • navin johnson says:

        no ground will be broken until the asbestos has been abated….when first announced Government mentioned that it would take at least 2 years to complete the process…..but now that Government is hiring 40 unemployed people and training them for 4 days it may only take a week or two…..hope they can afford to give the 40 people masks and proper safety gear…..

  5. More Confused says:

    This sounds very irresponsible “We are taking 40 unemployed persons, and in 4 days will turn them into skilled asbestos abatement workers”. I hope you are not consigning them to a lingering death.
    It takes about 20 years before the effects of asbestos exposure to show, and it is irreversible. Not only the workers, but their families too are at risk.
    Interesting it takes 4 weeks to become proficient to be a drywall expert, 4 weeks for a nail technician but only 4 days for asbestos. What new learning technique is being taught? It sound a valuable export to show the world that you don’t need years of experience. Turn it into a source for working tourists. Bermuda is So Much More. Learn a trade in no more than a month.

    • DarkSideOfTheMoon says:

      At this website is says you can become certified in NJ after 28 hours:

      http://www.ehow.com/how_5642323_certified-remove-asbestos.html

      Stop trying to spin when you don’t even know the facts.

      • DarkSideOfTheMoon says:

        By the way the next time your “more confused”, type a question into google and click on a link…

        • wcydwylias says:

          yup. and you can find proof of the easter bunny and santa clause on the internet too.

      • Mad Dawg says:

        Ok Darkside. Will the Bermuda trainees go through an equivalent to the state-mandated examination and certification, like they have to in New Jersey? And will only licensed people who have passed the examination and been certified be allowed to work on asbestos abatement, like in New Jersey? Or did you just select the facts about New Jersey asbestos abatement training that support your point of view?

      • pepper says:

        So I am looking for job, and according to the ad in 28 hours I can be a certified asbestos removal expert ? and what is the pay for this job ? and how are the certified dry wallers doing ?

        • What "god" says:

          From what I hear, one of the workers cant lift any dry wall because it is to heavy, and left it all to one of the other employees, while could only manage to hold the door open……..

    • Douglas says:

      I used to do this in Bermuda as a summer job, its not rocket science! I was in my teens then, Im 45 yhese days and still kicking. Speak about what you know!

  6. Terry says:

    Just call the election.
    Where they gonna take this stuff; Holiday Inns or Parlaville Park.
    Gonna cost millions just to containerise the asbestos.
    Never mind.

  7. Victor says:

    Sort of like the clearing job at the ClubMed property but on a grander scale? Is the taxpayer paying for this? Has a developer been announced? Who will own the hotel and who will run it? What happened to Mr. Christensen and Mr. Hunt? Are they still involved?
    Last I remember, they were feeling hard done by Government – is this still the case? Is there doe other group willing to invest? Madame Premier, some answers please.

  8. Petra says:

    I’m not sure whether you guys are kidding here or not! I’m no massive fan of the present Gvt but, please get your facts right before criticising!

    @Victor – did you miss the part of the statement where it clearly states Mr Christensen is working closely with the Gvt team, or did you choose to ignore it?

    @more confused – asbestos abatement is not a trade! It is a skill, much like you can go on a four day project management course and say you have that SKILL! In four days you can be taught to identify and how to work with asbestos – particularly if you have had previous construction experience. This SKILL is internationally recognised i.e. those with the certificate could choose to work anywhere in the world.

    @call us – again read the statement. Gvt’s job is ONLY to remediate, then hand over to the developers, they are working together. Gvt isn’t responsible for the development side.

    @Pete Tong – diggers don’t prove a thing! Asbestos abatement has clearly been identified as the first phase, if they bring in excavation machines for that there really would be a massive health problem like @more confused is alluding too!

    Jees – not everything the Gvt does is wrong. I’m the first one to criticise when they are, but why not get some facts before you talk garbage!

    • Call us ... says:

      Petra, and when development actually starts, please let us know. Until then all this announcement says is that government is going to clean things up. If/when the developers actually begin work then, and only then, will government have something to brag about.

      • Petra says:

        Sorry – we’ll have to agree to disagree here, the Gvt were told by Morgans Point Ltd that if they (Gvt) cleaned the land up, that they would build a hotel, marina etc etc etc

        The agreement took years to negotiate. Gvt are now holding up their end of the bargain, but by my reckoning, if no development takes place then we need to look to Morgans Point Limited for the answers, not Gvt.

        • Call us ... says:

          And just how many times have we heard that before. When the developers actually start work I’ll believe it. In the interim, where’s the new hotel on the Club Med site – seems that we heard the same noises then.

    • Victor says:

      Sorry…

  9. Triangle Drifter says:

    Are pics available Bernews? Paula Cox seems to be confused between what is development & what is cleanup. I’m sure a clarification will follow since it is quite clear that there are those who do not trust the PLP. Gotta wonder why?

  10. Opressed says:

    Pure lies. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    There is so much toxic contamination up there it will be at least 5 years to properly clean up. Hopefully by that time Ewart, Paula and the rest of these dreamers will be just a very, very bad memory.

    • Call us ... says:

      And who exactly on island is qualified to provide an opinion on this?

      • Come Correct says:

        On what exactly? Whether its there or not? I know and wikipedia knows. Whether or not it will take five years to clean up? Personally I don’t care if it takes 10 years, contrary to what some might think, hogfish actually tastes better without the toxic chemicals. How to remove it? Um…carefully? But I’m not qualified so its anyones guess right now.

        • Opressed says:

          Studies were carried out years ago on the toxic makeup of everything at NOB. I believe Government doesn’t want you to know what exactly is there, it might not be what we want to hear, and more lies will have to be told.

          I’m afraid everytime we have an electrical storm, cuz the whole friggin island might blow up with all the lies being told nowadays.When Paula tells you there is no toxic waste over there, maybe she and her cohorts should be the first to prove it.

  11. Dont forget that big OIL HOLE down there!

  12. Um Um Like says:

    ““Therefore, we can no longer allow unauthorised entry to or unauthorised storage on the site,” continued Premier Cox.”

    So this government previously allowed unauthorized entry and unauthorized storage to the site???

  13. Triangle Drifter says:

    Where does the asbestos go next? Is this the same asbestos which was sitting in containers down at Southside in 1998. The UBP did not know what to do with it. The PLP promised to deal with it quickly in 1998.

    One of many PLP promises to get things done that never happened. The asbestos was moved to the Government quarry. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Is this the same stuff, now moved to Morgans Point? 14 years later & still not dealt with.

    Asbestos, in a dry dusty form, is harmful. Wet asbestos is harmless.

    Load the stuff onto a barge. Take it out to sea in very deep water & dump it. Should have been done years ago. How much has the shuffling of this stuff around the island cost us?

    • Come Correct says:

      Why don’t we save the ocean environment, not contribute to rising sea levels and launch the crap into space… Where’s Terry Lister and his bredrens at NASA when you need them? After all we never got paid for the Uighers so they owe us a favor right?…right? What’s that? The favor has been returned when?!.shhhhhhhhhhh! First Bermuda commandement, thou shalt not speak ill of the doctor or you will be condemned to an eternity of voting oba/ubp.

    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      the only person who knows the truth about asbestos i see very good …ASBESTOS WHEN WET IS HARMLESS…USE IT LIKE TYNES BAY DOES IN ROUGHSHOD CONCRETE FOR LEVIES OR BREAKWATERS. Dig a f#@kin Hole or something …why does it always cost millions of $’s to do what is elementary…thats why we’re broke….waste waste waste ….another thing …i read the first paragraph and stopped …Mr Hunt please dont waste your MONEY on HOTELS …GOLF COURSES…CONDO’S IT WILL NOT FLOURISH AS YOU THINK…WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO BERMUDA FOR BERMUDIANS …YOU ARE JUS MAKING A PLACE WHERE WE CANT GO UNLESS WE FALL INTO A CERTAIN FINANCIAL CLASS OF CITIZENS….YOU PEOPLE ARE IN FOR THE RUDEST AWAKENING….YOU ALL CAN’T SEE PAST YOUR F#@KING NOSES FOR THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR BLINDS YOU…jus remember the dollar isnt and soon wont be ALMIGHTY….im tired of trying to awaken the asleep…zombies are real.

      • Come Correct says:

        I’m not sure if you’ve notice but America…sorry that’s unfair to the civilians living there… The federal reserve is about to start WW3 to make sure the dollar stays almighty or as they like to call it, the Petro-dollar. If you have noticed, great, if you want more info, go to the recent articles on the Uighers, I posted a link to a video too.

      • #Got to be kiddn me says:

        @Keppin it real. I totally agree what a waste of land. I understand the hotel and marina but the golf course is the biggest waste of space I have ever heard yet.. We already have the most golf courses per capita in the world so why do we need another one for? It will not make the money it cost to build it in 20yrs. A better use of the space would be to create a enterainment hub and fun town, kinda like a sin city to get more tourist and natives money out there pockets, and also give this boring island a bit of nightlife and fun we can all enjoy.. Its a pennisula so its one way in and oneway out so with plenty cctv the place can be 100% safe for all to enjoy.. The current plans will only favor the old wealthy tourist and natives and will never be financially in reach of the average cruise tourist(which is our bread and butter)or bermudian and will not add any fun factor to our BORING island.. I’ve travelled to many tourist meccas ie. Cancun Mexico,Miami,Las Vegas,Thailand and they all have one thing in common it s the sin city/ fun town/Tourist trap.. U are guaranteed a good time and it doesn’t matter how much it cost u are happy and can’t wait to return and do it again…
        #FoodForThought

  14. Jim Bean says:

    mmmm…..serious electionnering!

  15. Verbal Kint says:

    IF development happens here soon, I see it being led by local groups who have a long-term commitment to the Island. No one else is likely to invest now. The Greens showed their commitment to the future here, maybe others will follow suit. We shall wait and hope.

  16. C.B.A says:

    Bermudians aren’t dumb. You can’t announce that work has begun and pretend that you’ve done something great just because Wayne Furbert highlighted your mistake on another project recently.

  17. wcydwylias says:

    easy to say that work is being done if no one is allowed to enter the site. like area 51

    • pepper says:

      Why were these people allowed to store their boats and whatever there in the first place ?Paula Cox PLEASE resign !!!!!and let we Bermudians have a chance to survive….

    • pepper says:

      We need Gary Moreno, to investigate….think about it folks no one will allowed to enter the site !!!!!for fear of life and limb !!!! give me a break .

      • GoodIdea BadIdea says:

        I think with asbestos abatement and the high probability of hazardous materials (fuel, sludge and the like) the government will have a high liability whilst the abatement and cleanup are ongoing. They don’t really have any choice but to bar the public from the site until it’s clean.

        Technically the site should have been off-limits and cleaned up immediately after the Navy abandoned the site. But like most of this land that was previously run by other agencies, the government has left it to rot and become unsafe rather than get it over with (Tudor Hill, Naval Annex, Nasa complex, former hospital at Kindley).

        Hell – you can head over there any time you like. Breathe in all the asbestos you want. Apparently there’s plenty of it to go around (and not the stuff that’s embedded – more like the stuff used to wrap pipes).

  18. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    ok if ur gonna put another golf course there for the rich n famous….we bermybies want port royal acreage to be agricultural once again…we gonna need to supply ourselves when usa cant do it anymore or the cost of importation blows through the roof, trust me its coming,

    • #Got to be kiddn me says:

      Lmao… I like how u keepin it real 4real.. All they (Bda Gvt)really need is to read our blogs and steal our ideas and watch how the economy rebounds.. I personally don’t care they can take all the credit as long as my kids have a future ill be happy..

  19. Argosy says:

    “We had to deceive you…..” lives on!

    Sorry, it’s our turn now and we will deceive you when you FINALLY call the next election.

    Enough nonsense already, PLP jokers.

  20. William says:

    Work has begun !

    LOL SURE it Has! lol

    Ha ha ha hehe ….

    Yah ruyght . this is not April First , its October First….
    April fools day was like months ago .

  21. Jeff says:

    Is financing in place for the hotel development. There is no point spending millions of dollars of money you don’t have to clean up the site if nothing is going to happen afterwards. Also at what stage of the development is the hotel going to be built. These questions need to be answered or else this whole thing is just a bunch of hot air.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      I doubt if any money is in place. Money does not like to sit still for long. Also money does not like instability & Bermuda is not a very stable place for investment right now. Money does due diligence before comitting itself to anywhere. It is well aware of the PLP & the total failure it has been to Bermuda for the past 14 years.

      What happens next is up to the voters of Bermuda. If they want Morgans Point developed anytime soon, they will first have to throw the PLP experiment down the drain.

  22. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    I’m very proud of you Mr.Hunt ; You see anything is possible with DREB out of the fr!gging way . Premier Cox wants nothing more than a hug and a well done .

  23. Formidable Deviant says:

    Come on guys, wise up, this isn’t about asbestos removal or where the developers have gone. There is no hotel, there never was a hotel, it was Ewart’s lies, and now it’s a desperate Paula’s lies. That’s the only issue here, whether you trust these people to run this government for another few years, because that’s what she wants you to think, and that is the SOLE point of this press announcement.

  24. Opressed says:

    The costs to clean up the site will probably run upwards of $100 million, and the Goverment of Bermuda has . . . nothing, flat a$$ed broke.

  25. Rick Olson says:

    UMPA LUMPA

  26. Sandgrownan says:

    Liar.

  27. I don’t really agree with the Premier about the plan to build a hotel on Morgan’s Point. I wish she would consider other options!

  28. Y-Gurl says:

    Oh come on Paula is that the best spin you can come up with? I guess we’ll see and hear a lot more of this kind of fabrication as we get closer to the election, it keeps the opposition busy.

  29. Iron Maiden says:

    I am sorry, but has Paula always talked so proper? And does she speak like this at the dinner table? Big, weird and interesting choice words, over accentuation, etc.