Video: Minister Burch Press Conference

February 21, 2023 | 10 Comments

[Updated] Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch will be holding a press conference at 12:30pm this afternoon [Feb 21] to “discuss the budget initiatives of his Ministry.” The live video should start at around 12:30pm, and in the meantime, you can view all our coverage of the 2023 Budget here.

The live video has concluded and the replay is below

Update 6.02pm: Minister Lt/Col David Burch’s full statement follows below:

Good afternoon – I am delighted to be here today to highlight key initiatives for the Ministry of Public Works as outlined in the national Budget last Friday.

As you already know, the Ministry is responsible for the Island’s critical infrastructure, including roads, sewage, waste collection, water supply, quangos and by extension Municipalities, lands and parks, among other areas. These areas are Bermuda’s essential resources, which is our responsibility to sustain and play a crucial role in our Path to Continued Economic Growth.

In this year’s Budget, our Ministry will be allocated an operational budget of $75.3 million, an increase of $6 million over last year. The funds will be used to fund several vacant and unfunded posts so that we can increase our workload as well as provide additional operational funding.

Under Capital funding, the Ministry has been allocated $44.4 million – the same as last year. These funds will provide funding to continue the repaving of Harrington Sound Road along with other areas of significant deterioration – we will identify these areas across the island and patch those to improve the overall driving experience until we can do a full reinstatement.

I am keenly aware of motorists’ concerns, who are sometimes frustrated by lane closures and delays in their daily commutes on our roads due to road works. I remind that we advised of these inconveniences before the work began. We are still a year out from it all concluding. This investment will go a long way to ensuring that the state of our roads will be strengthened for years to come and the reliability of the electric supply is enhanced.

Funds have also been set aside to acquire new machinery and equipment, including trucks and $450,000 for electric vehicles.

Highways has been allocated a budget of $5,141,000, representing an increase of $398,000 as compared to the 2022/23 original budget. This increase is primarily due to the re-establishing of a third road cleaning crew to tackle roadside vegetation clearing.

$400,000 will be spent to complete the installation of solar panels on several government buildings. The deployment of solar panels is a significant achievement by the Government. Panels already in place on Government buildings have saved taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in electricity costs. Capital funding will also be allocated to restoration works at our Forts & historical sites.

We will continue with upgrades to the Pembroke Canal, to the tune of $240,000, to address issues connected to flooding in the area following heavy rainfall.

Elsewhere, $560,000 has been allotted to continue to modernise public street lights through the use of LEDs. The benefits of LED lights include their lower use of electricity, which results in savings, extended lifespan and durability.

Other capital spending will include a redesign of the Arboretum car park, and installing CCTV cameras at Horseshoe Bay to bolster security as well as erecting new signage. Additionally, new park benches and picnic tables will be installed at parks and beaches.

Improvements to the Botanical Gardens remain a priority. They will include upgrades to the Exotic and the Cactus Houses and a proposed Open Plan Barn in the Stables section near the Main Ring. The upgrading of collections will be reinstituted, and plant labels will be installed. Benches and picnic tables will be replaced and fencing being installed to control the flow of traffic and parking.

Three million dollars has been set aside for major buildings, the exact figure as last year, which will include the replacement of the age and unreliable elevator at Global House. There will also be improvements to lobbies and communal areas at Global House and the Government Administration Building as well as upgrades to bathrooms at Warwick Camp.

Regarding our operational spending, $10 million has been allocated for Parks, a slight increase of $300 thousand dollars. This increase is due to the Government’s resumption of organisation of the AG Show, increased cost of lifeguards and other expenditures.

Thirteen million dollars has been set aside for Ministry Headquarters funding for the purpose of previously unfunded posts, salary upgrades, ministry-level training, and increased use of the Health Examinations and Inspections.

WEDCo and BLDC are in the process of a merger for which we anticipate greater efficiencies of both physical assets as well as human talent. We are expecting this new single entity to emerge on or before January 2024.

Since my announcement of the merger some months ago, the companies have already made operational changes within similar departments – most notably the merged accounting functions – which are now physically located at Wedco in Dockyard. The Ministry projects that in 2023/24 we will experience a savings of up to $700,000 as a result of these realized efficiencies and renegotiated supplier contracts.

Although largely under the BLDC mandate – and not normally reported in this forum -

due to the enormity of the impact in the east end of the Island, I am compelled to give an update on the East End Water and Wastewater Project.

This has been a massive undertaking with so many facets to the project coupled with countless contractors carrying out different aspects of the infrastructure upgrade works. To that end I am pleased to report that the project is scheduled to be completed within the 2nd quarter of 2023 – barring any unforeseen events. Despite various delays, it is expected to be completed within the original budget of $30,000,000. When completed, the upgrades will supply the East End with ample potable water for generations to come. This will also usher in the new waste collection system, and a new waste treatment system that can accommodate hotels in the East as well as the Corporation of St. George and Southside. Finally, and most impactful to the natural environment of the entire island, we get to see the closure of the current St. George’s sewage waste outfall at Tobacco Bay.

This is a brief summary of some of the new funding being provided to the Ministry of Public Works for the upcoming year 2023/24, I will provide a more fulsome report of revenue and expenditures during the Budget Debate in the House of Assembly.

Thank you.

click here Bermuda generic 2023 Budget

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Comments (10)

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  1. sandgrownan says:

    All the lead-muppets getting wheeled out to deflect attention from DB Dave?

    This guy has a chip on both shoulders.

    • Voter says:

      Don’t worry the clowns in the UBPoba will come out and juggle a few surrogates soon adding to their muppets.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Deflect to the OBA, keep up the lie.

        Meanwhile, Bermuda continues to circle the drain.

        • Voter says:

          Your already lost the next election and you don’t even realize it! Folks like you are the very reason people like me are never coming back to the UBPoba.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        But it’s not the OBA and their muppets who have destroyed this place.
        And that really eats you , huh ?

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    I live east of White Hill. My opinion doesn’t count.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      And even if you lived west of White Hill it still wouldn’t matter.
      (If you know what I mean )

    • LOL says:

      It’s 30-6 your opinion will never count, so keep blogging.

  3. Richard OLSON says:

    FYI The previous tenant at Horseshoe installed a state of the art CCTV SYSTEM with several cameras .

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