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The employees of the Public Works Department on the sister island of Jost Van Dyke are working in unfavorable conditions, which the Deputy Premier and Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities, Hon. Kye Rymer announced that he was not pleased to see.
The remark about the state of the work environment for the employees was made by Hon. Rymer in response to questions on the matter that were raised by Second District Representative, Hon. Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull during the July 31 sitting of the House of Assembly.
While agreeing that the conditions were unsuitable, the Minster noted that he observed the situation during his visit to the sister island after taking office.
“Since taking office, visiting the sister islands was high on my priority list. I was indeed disappointed to see the conditions of the buildings which house the employees of the Public Works Department and the Water and Sewerage Department.”
The Minister noted that efforts to remedy the matter are being made, with funding provided for certain things.
“Mister Speaker, instructions were given on-site for the Public Works Department to design and produce the Bills of Quantities, which they are currently working on. Mister Speaker, in the meantime, funding has been approved for minor repairs to the existing structure to allow the staff to be adequately housed.”
However, it was noted that certain issues that need addressing would not be addressed because of lack of money.
“Mister Speaker, unfortunately the 2019 budget did not make any provisions for the purchasing of heavy equipment.”
Meanwhile, Hon. Rymer said that as a short term remedy, the matter would be assisted through the Public Works Department's maintenance programme. Through this initiative, he noted that staff and heavy equipment will be rotated throughout the sister islands to assist with clearing road edges, drains, ghuts, etc.
Additionally, the Minister noted that privately owned heavy equipment from private contractors on Jost Van Dyke are utilized to assist when required.
“Mister Speaker, it is expected that the Water and Sewerage Department will receive the spare parts for the apparatuses by the end of this week and they are currently preparing another order to ensure that there are sufficient spare parts,” he added.