Posted on 31 December 2018.
by Bennette Roach
GoM ends the year ready to roll with continuing and new projects
Work goes on well into thenights on teh Carrs Bay bridge and road reconstruction
As a somewhat up and down year draws to a close, the government of Montserrat (GoM) rests easy and perhaps happier that it can speak to what the Premiere has been referring to as ‘breakthroughs’ well into the new year.
This, although it may not see movement on the ground as noted by His Excellency Governor Andrew Pearce, during his last 2018 press brief with local media on December 19. His Excellency suggested that Montserrat is like a new comer “hasn’t quite yet found its new place in the world, but is on the verge of a new sort of paradigm in a way…”
The Governor hinted that while there is no “simple or easy solution,” there had been agreement between the U.K. and the Montserrat Government (GoM) “for a substantial aid package.”
H.E. later noted in his Christmas message repeated the information of “which he said he would “not go into all the details.” “That’s really for the Premier and ministerial colleagues,” but said also, “the total sum of money being invested, committed now to Montserrat is very substantial.”
Premier Donaldson Romeo
The Premier confirmed the information shortly after and had been hinting some successful negotiation upon his return from the UK, although lamenting it was not as much as negotiated; information that had also come out from a release on Lord Ahmad. In his Christmas message, he confined himself to the Christian message of Christmas.
“As we celebrate the birth of the Giver of Life, let us pause to remember those no longer with us. Let us also not forget to share good tidings with our neighbours and friends who may have lost a loved one, or may just be alone this Christmas. Christmas is truly a time of caring and sharing.
“May we be inspired by the One who made Himself the Greatest Gift to us all; hope to the hopeless, mercy for every mistake, restoration for every failure, and a comeback for every setback…,” he said.
The Premier then in his New Year’s message has outlined, having prefaced: “Over the past two years we have been blessed with several breakthroughs that open up opportunities to build a sound future.”
“Yes,” he said, “the sea port, the undersea fibre optic cable, geothermal and solar energy development, the pending hospital, the EU funding, the new growth strategy, a five-year capital programme, several investment opportunities and more are now open before us,” which he said he had prior, “discussed in my recent interview with our acting Communications Director,” which we believe he would have been better served in a media conference.
He gave as he said, “some good news on private sector investment initiatives. Ongoing projects in Dick Hill the Art Housing project has put in place the foundations and the road infrastructure to the 10 unit villa project.
Speaking at the FAC Inquiry: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN, and Ben Merrick (rt) Director, OTs, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
He said the next stage will resume, “where we shall see the buildings going up, noting, “This was confirmed on my recent visit to the UK. Meanwhile, we continue to advance potential projects in water bottling and the digital sector of our economy.”
He then outlined the progress with various ongoing projects, some of which he said, “… are more visible than others. But we are making good progress that will help us to build a solid future”
Governor Pearce delivering his Christmas message following his December press conference
Carr’s Bay Bridge: With funding in place, we can all see that frameworks have been set up, concrete has been poured for the main bridge structures and work is ongoing.
Barzeys Road and bridge: We have completed 820ft of concrete roadway with an average width of 20ft.
Sea Port, Phase 1: A year ago, Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved 14.4M pounds (about EC $50 million) for the development of Port Little Bay under the UKCIF fund.
Airport: Construction drawings for the new AirTraffic Control Tower are nearly complete and tender documents are being developed.
Fibre Optics Cable: This is a priority project for GoM and DfID. It will greatly enhance resiliency of our communications in the face of hurricanes and open the way for a powerful digital sector in our economy. Funding of about £5 millions is assured.
The construction of this ZJB building was completed well before the PDM Government took office in September, 2014. With much controversy and shrouded in some rumours of corruption regarding its construction and its occupation, it is currently waiting to be fitted with equipment said to be now available
Hospital and healthcare: The hospital project is a part of the five-year capital programme being further developed with the UK, which helps to secure funding.
ZJB New Building: This is now nearing completion and the Station will soon be moving house.
250 kW Solar PV project: This project is expected to be completed by the middle of March and will increase the resilience of our Electricity supply through solar energy.
Geothermal Well 3: Regarding the drilling of the third well, DFID will provide an update on the negotiation between DFID and Iceland Drilling Company (IDC).
Geothermal power plant: GOM has completed an early market engagement on the development of a geothermal surface plant to generate electricity
Housing: We were able to provide permanent housing to five households who were able to enjoy their first Christmas living in their new homes.
Port Buildings Project: Work was to be done on the Montserrat Port Authourity (MPA) warehouse roof and on the Ferry terminal.
Liquid Waste Management Project: This project has four components:  the Margetson Sewage Treatment Plant,  The Lookout warden assisted accommodation walkway,  the Lookout warden assisted accommodation sewage balancing tank and  the New Windward sewage stabilization ponds.
Tourism: The new tourism director will now be in place shortly. It is anticipated that he will advance the discussion of the formal twinning of Montserrat and Antigua as one tourist destination.