Deal signed for CI$2.5M church shelter

| 01/02/2021 | 53 Comments
(Seated L-R) Kris Bergstrom, President Edgewater Development; CPI Minister Joey Hew; Health Minister Dwayne Seymour; (standing L-R) Cherry-Ann Mungroo, PWD Project Manager; Milton Buchanan, Quantity Surveyor; and Debi Bergstrom of Edgewater Development

(CNS): Local contractors are expected to start work shortly on a private church project that has now been taken over by government to create a hurricane shelter and multi-purpose hall in Bodden Town. A contract worth CI$2.55 million between Edgewater Development and the Ministry of Infrastructure was signed Friday to complete the stalled Church of God hall on Shamrock Road.

The contract was awarded to Edgewater last November after they submitted plans in response to a public works tender. The project has a long history, as it was started by the church more than a decade ago. It also received cash under the controversial Nation Building Fund scheme established by McKeeva Bush when he was premier between 2009 and 2013.

Work stopped on the project in 2011 as a result of a cash flow shortage and since then the MP for Newlands, Alva Suckoo, has campaigned for the government to help finance the building because of the lack of hurricane shelter space in Bodden Town. In September 2018 government said it would step in to rescue this project rather than develop its own hurricane shelter, as had previously been proposed. However, the project continued to languish until now.

According to a press release, the proposed works will include the partial demolition and alteration of an existing building as well as the completion of construction of around 14,058 gross square-feet of unfinished building and another ancillary facility.

Officials said the completed building will function as a hurricane grade shelter that will be able to accommodate 441 people if they are only sitting and standing. If the building is used for bed and cots only, the capacity will be 220 people and where the building is used for a mixture of standing, sitting and beds/cots the estimated capacity will be 330 people.


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Comments (53)

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  1. Rick says:

    Did project stop for lack of funds? It seems to my recollection that the then opposition clobbered the McKeeva government with ‘giving money to churches for political reasons’ and then killed the projects after they collaborated to remove McKeeva. Now it is a good idea??? Saying it stopped for lack of funds is insulting to your readers. Some honest reporting, please.

  2. Comfortably Dumb says:

    Big wheels and Big deals and Roy still the leader Joey ?

  3. Gentle Reminder says:

    Conflicts of interest abound in this little island yet we have our beloved governor talking his BALONEY about no corruption. Mr Hew’s personal relationship with Mr Bergstrom and his spouse has nothing to do with it no doubt?? Yet Edgewater Development seems to have gotten alot of govt contracts during this PPM government’s tenor DVES & PWD Bodden Town Civic Centre to name but a few.2.5 million can sure get alot of boat rides to the sandbar! Oh how the elites are living well in these difficult times eh Cayman!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Signed at Tillies?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Smells very fishy.

  6. Anonymous says:

    At least that’s a better photo of little Joey than the last one I saw

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is long overdue. The timing looks like electioneering, but at least it stirred them to action. Will the government have title to the property? If so, that should satisfy many concerns.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What is definition of cronyism?

    • Anonymous says:

      The contract and those lucky winners in the picture. It is all so obvious nowadays. Joey Hew has no shame at all. He better not come to my door because he is a massive disappointment.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Joey gotta go in May

  10. Anonymous says:

    Joey Who is like Father Christmas for his special friends

  11. Anonymous says:

    Is it strange that the Minister and church representatives are not in the picture.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am sure Government went with the lowest bidder.

      Private sector companies seem to submit high bids when dealing with the public’s money.

      I am sure the CNS experts can cost this project out.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you even believe the BS that comes out of your mouth?

      • Anonymous says:

        Not necessarily. I own a reputable and experienced construction company and submitted a tender package to government. They acknowledge that my bid was suitable and the lowest by 3% yet chose the other contractor because “they were already on site finishing another project”. Completely wasted my companies time and money (and probably other companies) for no reason. We have refused to quote any government works since.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I challenge the Government to publish the site plan and drawings that demonstrate completing this building to cat 4 or 5 hurricane standards can coat $2.25 million. The building is more that 50% complete and the Government under nation building already paid to change the roof to hurricane standards.
    This can only be electioneering public money spend.

    • Anonymous says:

      Private sector involvement. Do I need to say more.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bergstrom sits on a CIVIL servant board, it’s cronyism you’re thinking of.. but that’s the plague of the civil service here.

  13. Anonymous says:

    audit this nonsense now.
    another day in wonderland.

  14. Anonymous says:

    That’s a cool $83 from every single registered voter, assuming 30,000 voters.

    Created the entire universe, but now needs minimum wage voters to fund the plan through tithe?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Pays to be friends with MPs. 😉

  16. Anonymous says:

    Outrageous that Cayman didn’t provide stimulus cheques. There should be another pension WITHDRAWAL since the Chinavirus is lasting much longer than anticipated.
    Need the money to get by! 🙁

    • Interesting says:

      Is this the same family that bought rooster 101.9 and silence the morning show? Interesting

    • Anonymous says:

      Pension fund managers provide pathetic returns, charge high fees while making millions. Those funds should be released to be invested in QQQ and other high performing ETFs.
      Screw the fat cat pension managers! What a con job that is!

  17. Curious says:

    Publish all the proposals from the bidders. Something doesn’t smell right this selection process

  18. Anonymous says:

    Will it be a church when there are no hurricanes? Government should not be funding religion.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are funding votes my friend, not religion.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Government should not be funding religion.”

      A coworker of mine disagreed with this comment this morning. I asked how they’d feel is gov funded a Satatic temple since our constitution provides the right to follow the Satanic religion.

      “Uh we’re Christian here dear you can’t be satanic”

      Lol says who? Your pastor who doesn’t want anyone to be gay either? Just goes to show how well they understand their own constitution.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ironically enough, Satanists don’t even believe Satan is real.

        They just “worship” the idea of being free from this sort of corruption that results when the church is 10 inches deep inside government.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s only fair if it suits their agenda.

    • Anonymous says:

      Will it be a church when there IS a hurricane!

  19. Anonymous says:

    excuse me, can anyone tell me what is the health minister doing there?

    • Anonymous says:

      There was juice and donuts.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a Bodden Town quid pro quo, that’s why Seymour is there. Meanwhile, the contractors and sub-contractors don’t need to publish their bids via the public procurement office, or comply with NPO Law. The Church of God in Bodden Town received the second largest grant from the Nation Building Fund: more than $1 million to assist with the construction of a multipurpose hall and hurricane shelter in 2010. Pastor Winston Rose said in 2016 that it would need “a couple million more” to finish the 20,000 sq ft church. Here we are, sponsoring a private Anderson-Indiana-based creationist ministry (evidently with no parish fundraising contribution, or capital draw down from COG retained earnings), all using untracked public government funds. This is what corruption looks like. We are going to paying another $2mln four years from now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or put another way, given he has no governmental involvement in the project so can only be there in his capacity as an MP, why isn’t Chris Saunders there also. Or Alva, since he raised the idea? Surely the government wouldn’t be exploiting this for electoral advantage?

  20. JTB says:

    Isn’t spending other peoples’ money grand? Especially at election time …

  21. Anonymous says:

    This is pure bollocks Joey needs to go asap for the sake of Cayman.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Smiling faces, smiling faces oft tell lies and don’t tell the truth!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Christians use MY tax money to build churches and fight against my right to a union with another consenting adult

    Yet I have not, even once, objected to this.

    Who is forcing a lifestyle down whose throats here? FYI my partner and I now have a union that was officiated by a non-religious officer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you not read the article? It’s not going to be a Church but a Government hurricane shelter 🤦

      • 3rd Eye says:

        Which would be its use for what.. 0.0001% of its existence? That doesn’t define what the funds are going towards – indoctrinating children from birth then shunning them when they become Atheists as open minded adults.

        Source: baptized Caymanian, left the church

      • Anonymous says:

        Listen, I know you want the world to end but it won’t be used as a shelter primarily / every week of the year.

      • Anonymous says:

        We’ll see the reality of that in time… if it ever happens. Its election time. Lots of promises made now will never see the light of day next year. We’ve been needing a shelter since Ivan but keep ending up religious and political leaders’ ping pong balls for all these years. More interested in feeding egos and lining pockets than looking after the real needs and interests of the people and community at large. Sickening. We need a new breed of politician. Tired of this $h1t.

        • Anonymous says:

          Where will your “new breed of politician” come from, 2:49, and who will the voters be? The same limited pool as it has always come from, so in many cases one bozo just replaces another on the election platform and any bright candidate (yes, they do come forward) who does not look churchy and old testament and gay bashing enough has no hope. Exhibit A is Bodden Town East.

  24. Ona trying my patience says:

    Boy looks like Christmas in January, the politicos have great bigger than big smiles.( from ear to ear) . Things that make you go hmm.May soon come nah nice presents are forthcoming.

  25. anon says:

    Hopefully all involved will study the report on the chaotic redevelopment of the airport terminal and learn from it.The big problem is, even if they don’t, they can be absolutely confident no-one will be held accountable.

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