By Mellica McPherson- Ganda
Government is now putting the West End/Sophers Hole Jetty/ Ferry Terminal on the front burner after the project was pushed to the sidelines in favor of the Pier Park/Port project.
Last week during the 22 September sitting of the House of Assembly Minister for Communications and Work, Hon. Mark Vanterpool was asked to report on the proposed cost of the project and provide a scheduled commencement time of the works.
Additionally, Opposition Member and First District Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie also asked the Minister to tell the House when the public meeting to discuss the new Jetty design will be held in the First District.
Minister Vanterpool explained: “Madam Speaker, our Government had to prioritize our port development projects and this resulted in the execution of the Cruise Pier Expansion, as a first option.” “The BVI Ports Authority is currently revisiting capital development projects at Sophers Hole, Virgin Gorda and Road Town. These projects will also be prioritized and following stakeholder consultations, a recommendation will be forwarded to Cabinet for approval,” he added.
Last year in an update of the project Mr. Mark Vanterpool announced that Government is still very interested in the West End/Sophers Hole Jetty (Dock).
The Minister assured on 26 May 2015 that the promised improvement would be delivered: “Yes, a contractor has been selected for the West End ferry dock improvements.”
Back in November 2014 Hon. Vanterpool during the questions and answers segment of a House of Assembly sitting confirmed that the invitation for tenders for the design and construction of a new or newly renovated ferry terminal, ferry dock, and ancillary facilities at the West End/Sophers Hole Jetty were earmarked for $3,000,000 and that Government is firm on this figure.
The Minister disclosed that an RFP was put out for a design of the project. This RFP, Hon. Vanterpool stated is not to exceed $3,000,000, and the monies for this RFP, Hon Vanterpool mentioned will be funded through loans.
Hon. Vanterpool also assured that a consultation meeting will be held once the design has been selected by the Board.