…contractor blames Communities Ministry engineersOnce again, works on the Kitty Market are being stalled, this time on account of the interference of Engineers from the Communities Ministry, according to Councillor Oscar Clarke.At Monday’s statutory meeting of the Mayor and City Council, Clarke said that he recently visited the Kitty Market where works were currently ongoing and was informed by the contractor that engineers from the Ministry were stymieing theThe Kitty Marketwork.“I visited Kitty Market and I met the contractor on the job and the contractor informed me that his work on the project is being stymied by the engineers from the Ministry of Communities. He called a particular name, but I won’t refer to the engineer’s name, but he said that the engineer stopped him from working on both outside and inside,” Clarke reported.“They told him that he had to complete outside before he could start inside. But if a contractor have a job, I don’t know how the contractor can be told not to do work inside when we can do both outside and inside and if he does that, then he can have the project could be completed ahead of time and at less cost, but this contractor is being held up,” he added.The Councillor also questioned the work of the City’s Engineer Department and whether they were overseeing the work being done there. He also reported that the contractor related that the visits from the engineers have been few and far in between.“The man telling me the work stalling up because of cash flow, but we all know that $25 million has been budgeted and it is available, so what is happening here, is there a deliberate attempt to have this project held back?” Clarke questioned.In response to the Councillor’s questions, Engineer Colvern Venture related that they were aware of delays in payments and other issues affecting the work at Kitty Market.Additionally, Venture said that a report was submitted to him outlining the issues, but he was yet to review the document and submit it to the Council.However, this did not go down well with Councillor Clarke, who said that the Mayor and City Councillors have a responsibility to ensure that the project was being monitored closely.“We are responsible for the supervision of the work being undertaken by the contractor…. work so when I heard that the engineer was assigned and he submitted a report, we should send for that report to see whether the engineers are in touch with each other… this is a serious matter,” he noted.Town Clerk Royston King said that he was unaware of such issues affecting the project and committed to contacting the Permanent Secretary of the Communities Ministry to address the issue.Efforts to contact the Ministry’s engineer department proved futile.The Kitty Market rehabilitation project commenced over two years ago, but was stalled several times owing to unavailability of funds and materials. As a result, City Hall was forced to approach the Communities Ministry for assistance since the first phase of the works was about 70 per cent completed for the upper flat and 45 per cent for the lower flat.During a site visit to the Market, Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan pledged $25 million to complete the project. The Ministry said that phase one of the project was expected to cost in the vicinity of $25 million and the scope of works include the construction of 15 external stalls, the sanitary block, and the administrative office, inclusive of a revenue collection section.
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