Thursday 24 January, 2019

Bill for MoBay sign gets thumbs up after review - Tourism Ministry

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett and Montego Bay Mayor, Homer Davis (centre), along with other tourism interests, participate in block laying on Saturday as part of the restoration of the 'Welcome to Montego Bay' sign that was destroyed in a motor vehicle crash outside the Sangster International Airport last year.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett and Montego Bay Mayor, Homer Davis (centre), along with other tourism interests, participate in block laying on Saturday as part of the restoration of the 'Welcome to Montego Bay' sign that was destroyed in a motor vehicle crash outside the Sangster International Airport last year.

The Ministry of Tourism says a review of the costs associated with the controversial $17 million 'Welcome to Montego Bay' sign has revealed that the rates are in line with market prices.

In a news release Tuesday, the ministry said one of Jamaica’s leading quantity surveying firms, Davidson & Hanna, conducted the review and "has given the Tourism Product Development Company’s bill of quantities a 'thumbs up'".

It follows an instruction by the Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, to have the Permanent Secretary review rates associated with the Welcome to Montego Bay sign outside the Sangster International Airport (SIA) roundabout in the resort city, after the announcement of the $17 million bill triggered widespread outrage over the perceived exorbitant cost.

Davidson & Hanna, which was recommended by the Master Builders Association of Jamaica to undertake the review, looked at the rates in the bill of quantities submitted by the Ministry of Tourism and compared them to market rates, the Ministry of Tourism said.

According to the ministry, the firm reported that most of the rates were found to be in order except the estimates for the wall cladding, which the company thought were low, and that for lettering and signage was insufficient for the execution of the work.

"In addition, Davidson & Hanna were able to confirm the accuracy of the quantities. With respect to the overall estimate of construction costs generated by the TPDCo, it was evident that the sum was insufficient for the execution of the works," the ministry said, adding that the firm explained that the rates overall reflect market conditions and demonstrate rates in the building and construction industry.

Bartlett, in the release, said: “I have instructed that the contingency of the three million be reduced to no more than 10 per cent of the total project cost. With the private sector’s injection of five million dollars, we expect that at the close of the construction of this new attraction, the team will come in well within budget.”

 

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: