By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
The Prince George Dock requires "significant maintenance and repairs", the Minister of Transport has warned, with major cruise lines concerned about physical conditions that have resulted in passenger injuries.
While making his contribution to the 2017-2018 Budget debate, Frankie Campbell warned: "The Prince George Dock facility requires significant maintenance and repairs. The major cruise lines are concerned about a number of issues, including the current physical conditions which have resulted in passenger injuries.
"In this regard, the entire facility requires dock repairs and resurfacing. Also, the Port administration building and and the Nassau Harbour control tower are in need of significant repairs. These repairs have an estimated cost of $4 million."
Mr Campbell added that increases to the cost of water, as well as pier and wharfage fees, were also imminent. He said regulations governing the Port Department have not been adjusted in more than five decades, with many fees and charges not reflecting inflation and industry changes.
"Increases in the cost of water from 15-20 cents per gallon, adding another 20 per cent and 10 per cent to pierage and wharfage, respectively, will produce another $3 million in revenue annually," Mr Campbell said. "These increased costs would bring fees closer to those charged in the region.
"The outsourcing of the tug boats will also alleviate crew overtime, and provide increases in revenue. Expenses far exceed revenue annually with regard to the operation of tug boats in New Providence. By implementing a mandatory tug fee and outsourcing this service, the Port Department will see revenues in excess of $3 million annually."
Mr Campbell added: "There will be, I'm certain, resistance from the cruise ships, who have not in the past been asked to pay for tug boat services, but I'm reliably informed that they are paying for them elsewhere.
"As we intend to add some cost to them, it is imperative that we also take it as important to satisfy some of the concerns that they have. This has to be a give and take relationship."