Categorized | National News

Gov’t Concedes With Baha Mar Road Works Cost

The Christie administration and mega resort Baha Mar may be a step closer to mending fences now that the government has verified the resort’s price tag of $118 million spent on road works along West Bay Street.

Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis confirmed the figure as he addressed the issue with reporters outside Cabinet office Tuesday.

The road works including the Corridor Seven project were originally projected to cost around $90 million.

The previous administration agreed to cover $48.1 million of the estimated amount with a further agreement that it would cover half the expenses if the cost of the works was less than $70 million.

The Christie government though recently reviewed the works and its assessment estimated the value of the works was $58 million.

But now the government has accepted Baha Mar’s quote although Mr. Davis says more has to happen before anything is finalised.

“We have verified that over $100 million have been spent and that’s what we have been able to verify,” he said.

“The next step is validating whether or not they are admissible spending for the project that was contemplated by the agreement and that is the road diversion and the Corridor Seven and that is where the challenge has been with us.

“It now falls down to what we call an interpretative approach and that’s what we are doing. We now have what we believe to be the proper interpretative approach which I hope to put to Cabinet.”

The issue which has threatened the relationship between the two has also been the source of political debate as the Opposition has accused the Christie administration of jeopardising the country’s reputation by attempting to renege on a deal.

But the deputy prime minister said he believes the government’s latest proposal will satisfy all parties involved.

Meanwhile the Christie administration has fended off claims that this issue has created a rift between the government and Baha Mar; In fact Tourism Minister Obie Wilchombe recently assured that relations between the administration and the multi-billion dollar resort are stronger than they have ever been.

Mr. Davis also appeared optimistic that this proposal will resolve issues between the administration and the resort.

“We hope to go back to Baha Mar with the presentation and I think having that and from the discussions we have had in Cabinet, I think we are that much closer to signing off on it,” the deputy prime minister said.

The Journal contacted Baha Mar Vice President of Government and External Affairs Robert Sands but he declined commenting.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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