Roadside property owners with overgrown trees and hedges will soon be getting a knock on their doors by a representative of the Department of Public Works.
According to the Minister, Colonel David Burch, they will advise property owners that if they fail to trim back their hedges overhanging along main roads, they will be trimmed by government employees and billed for it.
Speaking on live radio on the Sherri Simmons Show last week, Col Burch stated that while he has no firm evidence, from what he has seen regarding overgrown trees and the state of Bermuda’s roads in general, he is convinced that the former One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) administration had plans to privatise the Parks Department and other areas covered by Public Works.
The Minister was also asked by another talk show caller, what’s to become of the annual Agricultural Exhibition, now that the Progressive Labour Party is back in Government.
You may recall that event was taken over by a charity, that included former OBA MP Jeff Sousa, who owns and operates a landscaping company, amid concerns that it was part of a plan to privatise the Parks Department.
The annual community event was mainly funded by the private sector last year, in a public-private partnership with the Ag Show Limited (ASL).
ASL’s executive committee members included group President Antwan Albuoy, Chairman David Lopes, Jeff Sousa, lawyer Kim White and Andrea Moniz-DeSouza.
The group was set up after the OBA administration announced that they were cancelling the Ag Show due to damage caused by hurricanes and financial reasons.
ASL said at the time they they hoped to raise between $100,000 and $200,000 for the Ag Show, and that any extra funds would be set aside for future shows.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) allowed ASL to run the show for one year. But Col Burch said the contract will allow them to host the exhibition again next year. After that, he said he anticipates that the Ag Show will be returned in 2019.
The talk show caller stated that as long as the MOU remains in effect, he would not be attending the annual event.
Another topic discussed was plans by the new Minister to make it a requirement for utility companies that dig trenches on public roads to resurface the roads on their tab, to leave them the way they found them.
That was one of several plans to be discussed in the two-part Bermuda Real news series featuring the new Minister of Public Works.
Col Burch also stated in that interview that he plans to make recycling in Bermuda mandatory, which was also mentioned in the 2017 Speech From The Throne.
You may also recall that Col Burch said in that series that as of the end of July, there were 23 garbage trucks in the government fleet with 13 trucks on the out of service list.