Local taxpayers will foot the bill for a $30 million loan guaranteed by the Bermuda Government on behalf of the Bermuda Land Development Corporation (BLDC).
According to the Minister of Finance, Curtis Dickinson, the funds will be used for new upgrades with installations to a sewer main, a drinking water main, a reclaimed water main and a spare main in St George’s.
In a Ministerial Statement delivered in the Lower House on Friday, he said: “The guarantee will facilitate the revitalization of essential water and waste water infrastructure within the East End, which is the first phase of the integrated Water and Waste Master Plan.
“This development, will be crucial to both the New St Regis Hotel as well as the Town of St Georges,” he added.
“It will connect water storage infrastructure at BLDC with the town, as well as introduce new water production and sewage treatment facilities.
“The end result will be a solution to the failing sewage infrastructure within the Town, increased water production to service the Town as well as residents of St George parish and St David’s and it will introduce a new resource of non-potable water available for flushing, irrigation and service to the new hotel,” said Mr Dickinson.
He also noted that “this initiative is the end result of the East End water master plan study undertaken some years ago”.
“It will in the future be replicated on a much larger scale for the entire island during future phases of the Integrated Waste and Water Master Plan,” he said.
“This revitalization of central infrastructure will not only provide future services to residents, but provide opportunities for employment as contractors execute the works.”
In accordance with Section 2 AA (3) of the Government Loans Act 1978, the Minister also noted that there were key factors to consider for the issuance of a new Government guarantee.
“When determining whether the Government should consider providing a guarantee, various factors are taken into consideration before making a final decision,” said Mr Dickinson.
These factors include:
- Whether the guarantee is part of the Government’s plan to diversify the economy
- Whether the project being guaranteed is of national importance and is therefore beneficial for the country
- Where an implicit guarantee needs to be replaced by an explicit guarantee in order to save on borrowing costs
In closing, the Minister stated that “projects such as this are consistent with Government’s intention to take a considered and deliberate approach in relation to the issuing of guarantees”.
“This initiative is focused on revitalization of central infrastructure, which will not only provide future services to residents, but also provide opportunities for employment as contractors execute the works,” said the Minister.
“Whenever possible, we will continue to take proactive steps to help to spur job growth and facilitate initiatives with positive short and long-term impact on the Bermudian economy.”