PM: Over $100 Million Spent on Improvements in Grand Bahama

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie said his Government has spent over $100 Million on specific capital and infrastructure improvements throughout the length and breadth of Grand Bahama.

Addressing participants of the Ninth Annual Grand Bahama Business Outlook, March 9, at the Grand Lucayan, the Prime Minister said that the monies spent in Grand Bahama have all been to help strengthen the economy of the second city. However, he noted that the kind of change he would like to see come about in Grand Bahama is the kind that will bring sustainable economic growth and not the “boom and bust” experience of the past.

He said that his government has been laying solid foundations to achieve this kind of economic change for the second city, notwithstanding the unfortunate setback and delays as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

“My Government has been working round the clock to resolve these challenges, while advancing other initiatives to strengthen and reinvigorate this island’s economy,” said the Prime Minister. “By God’s help and with the indomitable spirit of the people of Grand Bahama, and investors who continue to manifest confidence in the economy, we shall prevail in our noble endeavors.

“We are making historic changes designed to improve and modernize the governance structure of Freeport, which will provide transparency for licensees and greater efficiency in accord with international best business and regulatory practices.

“My Government is far along the path to resolving outstanding issues with Freeport’s stakeholders, which will give rise to more collaborative development strategies and the likelihood of more successful outcomes. We have articulated a more dynamic and proactive approach to sourcing, expanding and fostering investment in Grand Bahama.”

The Prime Minister noted that the Government has been actively engaged in numerous initiatives aimed at benefitting Grand Bahama as a whole.  Some of those initiatives and programs include the following.

In East Grand Bahama – $7.8 million was spent on:

  • Construction of seawalls in Smith’s Point and renovation of the public cemetery at High Rock.
  • Reconstruction of the Government Dock, restoration of the roadway and installation of an 11,000-gallon water tank at Water Cay.
  • Completion of two phases of a Potable Water Project.
  • Construction of the Police station in McLean’s Town, and a state-of-the-art technology centre at the East End Primary School.
  • Renovations to the Administrator’s Complex and Residence in East End.
  • Refurbishing of the Teacher’s Residence as a hurricane shelter.

In Freeport, the Prime Minister said that $56.4 million was spent on:

 

  • Renovations at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex & BAIC’s Craft Centre.
  • Refurbishment of the Farmer’s Market.
  • Construction of a new Fire station, and 36 affordable single-family homes in Bahamia.
  • Establishment of the C.A. Smith Complex Storage Facility.
  • Ground breaking on a BAMSI Tutorial Farm.
  • A bridge at the Fishing Hole Road.
  • Repairs to the Harold DeGregory Building.

“Thirty-Six million dollars of the $56 million was spent on improvements to the Rand Memorial Hospital, importation of new ambulances and diagnostic equipment, and on a new Freeport Community Clinic in Marco City,” added Prime Minister Christie.

 

“Staffing and facilities at the Northern Campus of the University of The Bahamas have been expanded with significant plans for additional developments to meet the diverse human resource needs of the mixed economy of Grand Bahama.”

 

The Prime Minister told the GB Business Outlook that $33 million dollars have been allocated for work projects in West Grand Bahama. They include:

 

  • Construction of new high school.
  • Two phases of a Potable Water Project.
  • Renovations to government buildings, including clinics, the post office in Hunter’s, the Garnet Levarity Building and Urban Renewal offices.

 

In addition to the Government’s public sector initiatives, Prime Minister Christie pointed out that the government has facilitated the expansion plans of companies in the Industrial and medical sectors, such as:

 

*The $150 million expansion of Pharma Chem.

*Completion and operation of the $10 million State-of-the-Art Adult Stem Cell

Okyanos Treatment Centre.

*Three-million-dollar expansion of the Stat Oil project in the Eastern

area of Freeport.

 

“My Government has remained in dialogue with Hutchison Ports and MSC on the roll out of plans for Phase V expansion of the Container Port — of which, as a result of the damages and setback resulting from Hurricane Matthew, the objective is to incorporate the expansion into the repairs which are underway.”

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