The budget for the ongoing construction of a restroom at Brewers Bay beach has been upped more than $25,000 to a total of $238,272.11, according to Natural Resources and Labour Minister Mitch Turnbull.
In a Friday statement, Mr. Turnbull said he was providing the numbers in order to correct “inaccurate information” provided on talk shows and online media.
“An initial sum of $213,000 was budgeted for the completion of this project,” he said. “Of this amount, K&C Construction was awarded a contract for $124,258.70. A contract was also awarded to Connect Enterprises Limited for installation of a treatment sewage plant for $60,457.10.”
That plant, he said, is “75 percent complete,” but it has been installed “thus far” at the company’s own expense.
“Finally, there would be additional costs for installation of electricity, water, countertops and an access ramp,” he added.
As the works progressed, the budget was upped $25,272.11, to $238,272.11, to account for “critical design changes and material costs,” the minister explained.
“It is accurate that the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands recently approved $101,000,” he said. “However, these monies are toward the predetermined budget.
“No additional budget items were added to the project, and the difference of $25,272.11 was carefully vetted and determined to be necessary.” He also thanked the public for their “rightful interest and concern” in the project and other community developments.
“Your request for accountability matters to me and the public servants who work within the Second District and the Ministry for Natural Resources and Labour,” he said. “I therefore assure you that the funding approved for this project has been carefully allocated and is for the sole purpose of construction and the complementary works listed.”
He added that the community has long needed a functional and accessible bathroom managed by “an appropriate” government entity.
“Added functionality of the beach will increase its value and use,” he said.