- Written by FREEMAN ROGERS
- Published: 29 December 2017
The government is asking for public input on a document that broadly outlines proposals for spending $721 million on the territory’s recovery from the recent hurricanes.
Though the 20-page document generally provides few specifics, it does include a cost-estimate table that lists a $250 million line item for the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport — presumably to fund the government’s long-promised runway extension — as well as $56.35 million for roads; $48.65 million for electricity; $43.66 million for schools; $32.685 million for “government administration;” $32.6 million for water; $29.1 million for sewerage; $30.45 million for “government services”; and several other smaller expenses.
Besides the table of expenditures, the rest of the document — which repeatedly repeats itself — lays out broad goals such as rebuilding infrastructure, assisting businesses, preparing for climate change, and pushing for alternative energy.
It also calls for the establishment of a “Recovery and Development Agency” that would administer the territory’s recovery for the next five years. The agency would be established through legislation, managed by an independent board, and supported by a secretariat, according to the document.
Led by a board of directors approved by the House of Assembly, the body would be charged with “driving the recovery process by fast-tracking the execution of projects and ensuring proper coordination, both with government ministries and with external partners,” the document states, adding that the agency will be staffed “through a combination of core personnel, secondment from government entities and other agencies, as well as outsourced experts and consultants.”
The recovery work is to be funded by $58.9 million from government; $52.7 million from grants; $221.7 million from loans; $331.4 million from “private/NGO/statutory sources;” and $56.7 million from insurance, according to the document.
After the DRCC considers public input, a draft plan will be submitted to the Cabinet, which ultimately will submit it to the House of Assembly for approval, according to the document.