Opinion: Government building disaster

POSTED: 07/6/14 7:06 PM

Dear Editor,

Around the millennium several Island Council members had the wonderful idea of building a Government Administration Building on Pond Island. In essence a good idea from a financial standpoint.

Their reasoning given at the time: this new Government Administration Building was going to “save” taxpayers millions in annual rent costs being paid to house various government departments in several locations in the Philipsburg area. The original building price as contractually agreed to stood at $ 16.2 million. It now turns out that the total price tag affixed to the building of the “new” Government Administration Building (sitting empty since 2007) has cost the taxpayer a whopping $ 38.7 million! To make matters worse, the Prime Minister states that this same building has been appraised at roughly $ 25 million. To put this in perspective: the taxpayer has bought a house that is worth almost half of its purchase price.

All sitting political parties are to blame for this mind-boggling fiasco as the matter has dragged on for so many years that DP, UP and NA had chances to solve this debacle when they were in government.

CPC has taken note of the fact that the ad hoc planning committee for the construction of a new parliament building (!) held its first meeting recently. Apparently, the lease contract for the current parliament building (another case of highway robbery at a whopping $96,000 per month in rental costs) runs out in 2017 and parliament seems not to have learned from the Pond Island fiasco. Or they are completely out of touch with reality. CPC believes it’s a combination of both.

CPC will not endorse the construction of a new parliament building as successive governments, of which all sitting parties have been members of, have proven not being able to execute such a project successfully (e.g. building completed within the set deadline and to the agreed to costs etc) and as such CPC will not support any future squandering of taxpayer’s money. There are other locations that appear more cost effective and can be outfitted to house parliament, for instance the former Government Administration Building on Clem Labega Square (once government finally moves to the Pond Island location). Other existing locations should be considered as well.

CPC endorses a cost efficient government, one that first looks at how to save taxpayer’s money instead of (over)spending it and leaving it up to the next generations to foot the bill. More on government spending can be read here: www.positivechangesxm.com (under the “More” tab).

Citizens for Positive Change







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