Categorized | Editorial

No CM, there are some things you must not hide from the people

On Friday, April 9, Chief Minister Reuben Meade announced to ZJB reporters: “…an additional that’s over and above what was allocated in the budget, a capital of about 36 million, an additional 5.3 million pounds (EC$23 million) has been approved for a project that seemingly has been causing some stress to the people of Montserrat.”

The matter involved a new electricity generating plant, which should be mentioned, has been a major discussion point since 2004/5 when Minister of Communications and Works John Wilson in the John Osborne government had announced that they were getting the funds to erect a new plant.

The CM said further that people had been expressing concern that, “government should not borrow 30 million dollars for no power plant because, oh, it is too expensive. But, it is not everything that government does that we can come out and say to the people while we are having the discussion…”

The CM should understand as he well knows, that there are some matters, although it is never their style, must, should be told to the people, discussed with them, especially when it impacts their livelihood directly and they are the ones who have bear the burden at the end of it all.

However, the people he refers to are more specifically the Committee for the Redevelopment of Montserrat who has been working also through the Montserrat Geothermal and Investments. They have submitted information, documents and proposals to GoM, through the CM, while acknowledging the need for a fully functioning generating plant, it cannot and should not cost anywhere near $30 million plus. If the CM continues not to work with them, tell the people who you and they represent that they are looking interests other than that of Montserrat. The same is true for The Montserrat Reporter.

The Chief Minister speaking to the Editor (TMR) on Dec 1 last year, when the issue of the $30 million was raised, said, “Yes, the amount may be in the order of $30m, but it does not necessarily mean that the draw down will be eventually be 30 million dollars. We are just seeking a line of financing.”

Prior to this one on one with the CM, then Manager of Montserrat Utilities Ltd., Peter White (we understand he is to be reinstalled following advertisement to fill the position) had said that the money needed would not be just for the purchase of engines. He did promise to be more forthcoming, Now that the CM in that interview called on MUL to explain to the people, and now that HMG in goodwill gesture has provided, what obviously they have been told is the cost for the new plant, we expect the renewed manager will hasten to explain what the extra seven million dollars ($7.0 m) is to acquire.

This is one time when the government must be willing to come clean with the people who in two years time will be asked to meet the bill. Indeed the CM should be the one telling the people why the additional burden is being placed on the people for the luxurious $7 million. DFID may also want to tell us why they did not come up with the extra 1.5 million pounds.

Besides the fact that CRM has said and produced documentation that a new plant should cost little more than $15 million, other options for reconditioned plant, and second hand plants have been sourced at less than $12 million. Biggest of all is the fact that the state of the art equipment that has been left in Plymouth, is still there waiting to dusted off, brought to the North and commissioned in far less time than the two years it would take to build the $23 million plant.

An Independent report on Diesel Power Generation – Montserrat in April 2000, eleven years ago said: “The set will serve as an excellent 1,700k We standby if installed within a n ew power station building and subject to detailed comparisons with other engine types, may be suitable for base load duty.

Why has no government, Monlec, MUL done nothing about equipment that is still said to be in excellent conditions? By the way, according to the report, the cost for this, was 92,000 pounds, at the time $371,000.00. It is just possible that common sense that seems to evade us would now be merely propelling us towards geothermal power, which should be so much on the forefront rather than the backburner.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

On Friday, April 9, Chief Minister Reuben Meade announced to ZJB reporters: “…an additional that’s over and above what was allocated in the budget, a capital of about 36 million, an additional 5.3 million pounds (EC$23 million) has been approved for a project that seemingly has been causing some stress to the people of Montserrat.”

The matter involved a new electricity generating plant, which should be mentioned, has been a major discussion point since 2004/5 when Minister of Communications and Works John Wilson in the John Osborne government had announced that they were getting the funds to erect a new plant.

The CM said further that people had been expressing concern that, “government should not borrow 30 million dollars for no power plant because, oh, it is too expensive. But, it is not everything that government does that we can come out and say to the people while we are having the discussion…”

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The CM should understand as he well knows, that there are some matters, although it is never their style, must, should be told to the people, discussed with them, especially when it impacts their livelihood directly and they are the ones who have bear the burden at the end of it all.

However, the people he refers to are more specifically the Committee for the Redevelopment of Montserrat who has been working also through the Montserrat Geothermal and Investments. They have submitted information, documents and proposals to GoM, through the CM, while acknowledging the need for a fully functioning generating plant, it cannot and should not cost anywhere near $30 million plus. If the CM continues not to work with them, tell the people who you and they represent that they are looking interests other than that of Montserrat. The same is true for The Montserrat Reporter.

The Chief Minister speaking to the Editor (TMR) on Dec 1 last year, when the issue of the $30 million was raised, said, “Yes, the amount may be in the order of $30m, but it does not necessarily mean that the draw down will be eventually be 30 million dollars. We are just seeking a line of financing.”

Prior to this one on one with the CM, then Manager of Montserrat Utilities Ltd., Peter White (we understand he is to be reinstalled following advertisement to fill the position) had said that the money needed would not be just for the purchase of engines. He did promise to be more forthcoming, Now that the CM in that interview called on MUL to explain to the people, and now that HMG in goodwill gesture has provided, what obviously they have been told is the cost for the new plant, we expect the renewed manager will hasten to explain what the extra seven million dollars ($7.0 m) is to acquire.

This is one time when the government must be willing to come clean with the people who in two years time will be asked to meet the bill. Indeed the CM should be the one telling the people why the additional burden is being placed on the people for the luxurious $7 million. DFID may also want to tell us why they did not come up with the extra 1.5 million pounds.

Besides the fact that CRM has said and produced documentation that a new plant should cost little more than $15 million, other options for reconditioned plant, and second hand plants have been sourced at less than $12 million. Biggest of all is the fact that the state of the art equipment that has been left in Plymouth, is still there waiting to dusted off, brought to the North and commissioned in far less time than the two years it would take to build the $23 million plant.

An Independent report on Diesel Power Generation – Montserrat in April 2000, eleven years ago said: “The set will serve as an excellent 1,700k We standby if installed within a n ew power station building and subject to detailed comparisons with other engine types, may be suitable for base load duty.

Why has no government, Monlec, MUL done nothing about equipment that is still said to be in excellent conditions? By the way, according to the report, the cost for this, was 92,000 pounds, at the time $371,000.00. It is just possible that common sense that seems to evade us would now be merely propelling us towards geothermal power, which should be so much on the forefront rather than the backburner.