Work begins on $6.6M CIG vehicle depot upgrade

| 23/02/2018 | 24 Comments
Cayman News Service, Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services

Artist’s rendition of new DVDS building

(CNS): The infrastructure minister and other government officials were out in force with golden shovels Friday breaking ground on a $6,655,000 redevelopment project at the Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services (DVES). What the minister described as “long-awaited” upgrades at the North Sound Road facility will see overhauls to the vehicle repairing bays, the parking lot and the fuel facility. DVES is the main auto repair and fuel dispensing facility for over 1,000 government vehicles. Minister Joey Hew said staff work in cramped and less than ideal conditions.

“If we are to be considered a first class financial centre, a first class tourism destination, a first class civil service, then we must provide our people with the tools and the facilities to be just that… first class,” Hew said at the groundbreaking. He added that it was the start of a “positive change that will provide a modern, comfortable and safer working environment”, allowing for more efficient and effective service.

The parking lot, which caters to staff vehicles and those of public sector clients, from huge dump trucks to government cars, is also very congested, the minister said, as he justified the significant expenditure. Hew said the redevelopment of the 40-year-old facility was long overdue.

DVES Director Richard Simms said the department was first established as the Central Funding Scheme (CFS) in 1977, and became the Department of Vehicles and Equipment Services (DVES) in 1981. He said his team looked forward keenly to the redevelopment, “which will certainly create a better and safer working environment for all of us”.

Currently, mechanics have to battle the elements as they work to repair and maintain the government fleet outside, while the stores unit is cramped and unsafe with unbearable temperatures. The Finance and Administration unit also faces inadequate storage and poor ventilation, as the area has no windows, high traffic and leaks from the rain, “all of which have made it very difficult and uncomfortable for them to work”, Simms explained.

The redevelopment includes an upgrade to the government fuel facility (GFF), which will receive fuel equipment consisting of new tanks and pumps. Simms added that phase one of the redevelopment would comprise a 8,732 sq.ft., two-storey administration building. Work on this facility starting last month and is slated to cost $2,924,566 with an expected completion date of early April 2019.

Niasha Brady, the senior project manager from the Public Works Department, who will be heading up the job, said the new category 4 hurricane rated building will consist of office spaces, a conference room, reception and storage areas. When it is finished, the overall redevelopment, including new garages, will be 32,000 sq.ft., she noted.

The construction contractors on the project is the local firm Edgewater Group.

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Category: development, Government Finance, Local News, Politics

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    To be a first class financial center all our staff have to fly first class and drive first class freebie govt cars….right? And you will absolutely never see those govt cars waiting to pick the kids up from school in the middle of a work day or cruising around town on a Friday night….

  2. Anonymous says:

    REALLY??!!! and we are so in need of the John Gray High School being completed. Where is the priority in that project being completed

  3. Anonymous says:

    Um… Isn’t Public Works on the same site? Do they still know how to swing a hammer? Couldn’t they and Planning staff pull this off??

    • Anonymous says:

      EY Report: all government work shall be outsourced to our friends so they can turn a profit off of the public’s taxes.

  4. Anonymous says:

    In the First World, a lot of the Unity Gov’t and their cronies would be under a lot more scrutiny in both their public and private lives because there would be some semblance of Standards in Public Life. This closely resembles third world graft, rivaling some of the most notorious African backwaters. It’s not even clever. The question remains, will the voters passively watch their money being misappropriated another 3 years by a Cabinet they didn’t appoint, or will they take action to restrain these inflated-invoice quid pro quo infrastructure deals to their buddies?

  5. 4th Dimension says:

    Really. Really?????????

    We all know who tbe contractor is, we all know who the minister is and we all know who the director is.

    So its safe to say that in reality this project would normally cost about 4 mil tops to complete.

    Ezzard!!!!!!! Mr. Miller. Please speak up. Heller. Say “SOMETHING MAN”. Keep a close watch on the audit books and get a dictionary handy for the BIG technical contruction words, for hammer and nails, they will use in order to suck the money well dry.

    I smell “conflict of INTERESTS” all over this.

  6. Anonymous says:

    And we are running out of classrooms in Bodden Town. This Government is nothing but the Proletariat that Marx talked about

  7. Two Cents says:

    The enhancement of DVES facilities has been desperately needed for a long time and I am glad to see it is finally happening.
    Having said that, I am not happy to see that the investment is being made on this site. PWD and DVES have shared this piece of property for over 40 years. NRA was split off from PWD about 15 years ago and shares it also.
    The government has a beautiful piece of property off the Bodden Town bypass that it filled about 10 years ago and has done nothing with. This was an opportunity to relocate DVES out of George Town.
    Did the powers that be not notice that COX just closed up there store on Eastern Ave and moved to Bodden Town recently? The traffic on N Sound Rd is horrendous and the reality is that none of these 3 agencies need to be in George Town.
    I wouldn’t expect the Central Permitting Authority (CPA) to raise any concerns since their mission in life is to ‘permit’ anything that creates construction-related opportunities. I am disappointed though that the new Minister, who is also responsible for ‘planning’ and is a shrewd businessman, didn’t see this like a 10ft boulder sitting in the road. So much for my hope that he would bring some new vision and common sense.

  8. Anonymous says:

    First class Joey? FFS, we haven’t even paved a sidewalk on the illuminated east side of West Bay Road in the heart of our Hotel Tourism District. Not enough baksheesh in that contract, obviously.

  9. Tut alors!. says:

    I think the public need an explanation from Government as to how the vast amounts of gas dispensed at the GFF are accounted for. In the past there have been numerous scandals involving illegal supply of fuel and the taxpayer need to know if systems are now in place to stop this.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Big Government is ALWAYS a disaster for any country. It doesn’t really look after the people, unless they were taxing you less and spending your money wisely, but then you would have a smaller Government. When we have Big Government which employs more persons that it should, taxes its people in sky high duty on everything and then mismanages its money, through huge unnecessary projects. It puts even more burden on the rest of us to come up with more money to give to Big government. Its dangerous and it needs to be kept in check. Clifton Hunter is a prime example. Hopefully we can learn from this and demand that our government thinks more as if this was their own business. Government needs to become smaller and let the private sector grow.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What was the spin on the garage at the Port? I thought it was to house the very expensive x-ray truck. But I have never seen it parked inside.

  12. West bay Premier says:

    How come the Cayman Government can’t build something right the first time, and under $5.5 millions ? That Artist rendition in the article photo is going to cost $6.6 millions ? And there’s a existing building there too. Sounds like construction cost $1.5 million and $1.5 million for studies , and other Companies for balance.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Which lane has the free gas?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Several reports from consultants over the last 30 years have recommended closing this unit down and outsourcing the work to get much better outcomes and value for money. But we don’t implement reports or enforce laws in Cayman. We’re good at commissioning reports and passing laws but then we sit back and do nothing.

  15. Anonymous says:

    But no money for a proper 2018 type court house……………..just shows the priorities of some

  16. Anonymous says:

    Is this where I get my free gas?

  17. Anonymous says:

    The brotherhood at work again.

  18. #CAYMANKIND says:

    It really pays to sit on the CPA Board and roll tight with the minister in charge of the project

  19. Anonymous says:

    So, 10 Mil then…


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