November 24, 2020

The Editor Speaks: After a quiet few weeks a storm is brewing

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Colin WilsonwebWith Government announcing that the Dart Deal was a Done Deal as it relates to the closure of the West Bay Road last Thursday (7) I was waiting for a storm to break.

I am not surprised to hear North Side MLA Ezzard Miller saying he doesn’t believe it is so. I am only surprised he didn’t argue the done deal wasn’t a done deal publicly the following day.

Miller has gone on record saying if he is part of a government after the May election he will reopen the road.

The rapid pace that Dart is proceeding with the West Bay Road/old Marriott Hotel development this is going to be very hard to do as the road works is almost complete.

Government has said they have taken legal advice and they are bound by the agreement with Dart.  Miller doesn’t agree.

Miller stated on CNS that if the government had sold the road, which is crown land, in the proper way at market value, it could have received as much as $40 million, which would be enough for government to reduce the duty on fuel and make the cost of living cheaper for everyone.

“Here is an opportunity for the new government to collect anywhere from $20-40 million on the sale of that road and significantly reduce the cost of living for everyone by cutting back fuel duty,” he said. “Instead, as far as we can tell, the public is receiving almost nothing in this deal.”

Where I can 100% agree with him is that we do not know the full details and/or the legalities surrounding the deal. Neither government nor Dart has revealed the review undertaken by Price, Waterhouse, Coopers meant to assess if the ForCayman Investment Alliance is a sound deal for the public purse, giving genuine value for money for the tax-payers.

“What we do know is that Dart will receive millions of dollars in concessions and is receiving a strip of beach front real estate worth millions in exchange for funding the cost of a new road,” Miller said

Premier Hon. Julianna O’Connor-Connolly announced last Thursday that the West Bay Road closure land swap was not bound by the review.

What we do know is that the very little we were informed about it from ex premier McKeeva Bush has not exactly turned out as he implied. I am trying hard to be polite here.  A four story hotel is now a ten story hotel. Canals and a bridge suddenly appeared. A highway suddenly had roundabouts constructed on it.

I think it only fair that government let us all know the answer at next Thursday’s Press briefing to Miller’s question.

What were the questions they sent to legal concerning this deal and to demonstrate how it is binding?

There is a storm a-brewing …… I can almost hear the thunder ……  and is that lightning lighting up the night sky?

 

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