After a brief debate, lawmakers authorised the government last Thursday to borrow up to $57 million to finance improvements to the territory’s water and sewer systems and docks and to outfit the new hospital with equipment.
Two loans, both of which were unanimously approved, are to be arranged by the Cayman Islands branch of FirstCaribbean International Bank.
The first, for $35 million, will be used to extend the cruise ship pier. The second, for $22 million, will used for various purposes, according to Premier Dr. Orlando Smith:
• $7.1 million to finish buying medical equipment for the new hospital;
• $10 million to complete “much of” the needed sewerage works in East End/Long Look and another $800,000 for sewerage works in Road Town;
• $1.25 million to develop the dock in Virgin Gorda; and
• $1.8 million to fund improvements to the Road Town Ferry Terminal.
According to the order paper for last week’s House of Assembly meeting, the loans will come with an interest rate to be determined and will be repaid over 13 and 12 years, respectively.
The two loans would add as much as $57 million to the territory’s public debt, which stood at $148 million at the end of 2013, according to the Medium Term Fiscal Plan, which was released in December.
Prior to last Thursday’s loans, the territory was projected to spend $16 million this year in interest and principal repayments, according to the 2014 budget.
See the April 24, 2014 edition for full coverage.