NDP CRITICIZES SITE PREPARATION PHASE OF HOSPITAL PROJECT
The opposition National Democratic Party (NDP) has lamented what it sees as a “flagrant abuse” of tax dollars on an aspect of the new Peebles Hospital project.
Territorial-at-Large Representative the Honourable Eileene Parsons used the party’s radio programme “Drive Time” to bring further attention to the excavation works now ongoing. “This wanton abuse and raid on the public purse takes place on the land fill directly opposite Peebles Hospital,” she declared.
She charges that every day beginning at 7 am or earlier, trucks loaded with dirt excavated from the back of the existing hospital facility cross the street and deposit the dirt on the landfill until there is a mound. “Two HYMAC operators, like kids playing in a sand pile, then set to work making the mound higher. After the mound is considered high enough, the HYMACS then pile the same dirt onto a different set of trucks which then dump the dirt onto a barge tied up right next to the dirt less than ten feet away.”
“It is the most shameless affront to the intelligence of the people of this territory and it is in fact only further evidence of the scant regard that this government gives to efficiency and prudence in spending the people’s money, ”Hon. Parsons, a former Minister of Health, declared.
The politician said her colleagues have questioned “this travesty” in the Legislature to no avail. She said they have been assured that the method being used for the disposal of the dirt from the Peebles Hospital project is the most efficient one.
The NDP Legislator questioned why the original trucks could not deposit the dirt from the hospital site across the street directly onto the barge or better yet proceed directly to West End, the final destination for the fill. She said it is also common knowledge that a similar senseless and expensive retreat operation takes place at West End.
“Is it any wonder that we are ending up with a hospital that will cost close to a hundred million dollars?” she asked.
Apart from what she referred to as “the absolute waste and inefficiency”, the At Large Representative said what is of greater concern are those persons who suffer most from this activity. “Those who suffer on a daily basis are the poor patients at the hospital next door who must endure squeaking HYMACS, roaring trucks with blaring horns, endless dust day in and day out seven days a week.”
She hastened to reiterate the opposition National Democratic Party’s support for the new hospital project and the income it generates. “In fact, a new hospital was central to the 1999 election campaign of the NDP,” she pointed out.
“What is being stressed here is that the site preparation must be managed in a way that patients at the hospital and asthmatics who might reside in the area continue to exist in a modicum of comfort,” Hon. Parsons went on to clarify. She said work should begin at a reasonable hour and the site should be prepared by erecting effective barriers to minimize dust, noise and the like.
The opposition politician suggested that the money now being squandered would better be used to address the growing social problems in the community. She said there is a need to deal with such issues as increasing crime, substance abuse, the problem of youths who feel left out of the mainstream.
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