Government has spent nearly $1.5 million of $3.5 million allocated for a “water network improvement plan” via an August 2018 Cabinet memorandum, Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley said last Thursday in the House of Assembly in response to a question from Opposition Leader Julian Fraser.
Dr. Wheatley did not explain how the $1,477,462.99 was spent, though he said the details were included in an appendix that would be provided to Mr. Fraser. In a follow-up question, Mr. Fraser asked if about $2 million remains available for the project in the Ministry of Communications and Works’ coffers.
If so, he added, “I would see no excuse for the difficulties that we are going through.”
Dr. Wheatley did not directly answer the question, instead replying, “I certainly will investigate with the minister of communications and works what you have mentioned as it pertains to accessing additional monies for improvement of the water network, but I believe he would be the most appropriate person to be able to provide that information.”
Although HOA Public Relations Officer Linton Leonard said that he was working to provide the Beacon copies of the appendix, they were not received by press time yesterday.
The Premier’s Office also did not immediately respond to a Tuesday email from the Beacon.
Later in the HOA meeting, Mr. Fraser (R-D3) pressed Communications and Works Minister Kye Rymer about water access in his Third District.
Although Havers residents have long expressed a desire for government water, a covenant constraint has prohibited the water line from extending to the area, Mr. Fraser claimed.
He then asked Mr. Rymer if “his ministry is in possession of any formal requests for this service.”
In response, Mr. Rymer said that of all properties in Havers Estate, the Water and Sewerage Department possesses only one formal request for a water line connection.
After the WSD receives more applications, he said, department officials will examine the feasibility of extending the water line.
Typically, he added, once the required resources are available the water line is extended and a new connection is made.
“Therefore, if the residents of Havers Estate are desirous of being connected to the public water system, I encourage them to submit their additional applications to the department,” Mr. Rymer said.
Mr. Fraser said he would encourage residents to promptly submit applications.