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610 Cheques Handed Out To Repair Roofs In Gb

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Michael Pintard (centre); Rev Frederick McAlpine (left), member of Parliament for Pineridge; and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works and member of Parliament for Central Grand Bahama Iram Lewis speak to the media on Monday as cheques were issued to homeowners for roof repair in Grand Bahama. Photo: Lisa Davis/BIS

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Michael Pintard (centre); Rev Frederick McAlpine (left), member of Parliament for Pineridge; and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works and member of Parliament for Central Grand Bahama Iram Lewis speak to the media on Monday as cheques were issued to homeowners for roof repair in Grand Bahama. Photo: Lisa Davis/BIS

By ROBYN ADDERLEY

SIX hundred and ten more residents of Grand Bahama are now better prepared to repair their roofs as a part of the government's national repair programme.

With a steady flow, those armed with the necessary identification, lined up on Monday to receive their much anticipated assistance for roof repairs with the hurricane season fast approaching.

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works Iram Lewis said in addition to the 125 cheques previously distributed, they are in possession of 610 for those who were in tiers two, three and four.

Describing the day as a "great" one, Mr Lewis added that people can now have their roofs repaired and ready for the hurricane season. He added that because of the large number of cheques being distributed, people should only come to collect if they have been contacted.

He said: "We are presently compiling a fifth list that we're sending into Nassau around the first part of May. As soon as that list arrives in Nassau, they will also be processed and brought to Grand Bahama and we expect that everyone will have their cheques in hand prior to the commencement of the hurricane season.

"It means a lot to the people of Grand Bahama because it's been long coming and when you drive around town, you still see a lot of tarp on roofs and a lot of homes (that) are still damaged as a result of leaks. We are just pleased that at this time, the government is able to assist the constituents from East Grand Bahama all the way to West, and some of the smaller cays."

Targeting residents with roofing leaks, Mr Lewis said it is important that they are stopped and the homes are saved. He urged the residents to ensure that their homes are repaired properly and comply with building codes.

"And by all means, please get your insurance because based on what I've found out in a short period of time, there is no way the government can sustain such a programme. It is a heavy burden on the government, but again we are about people and we are going to do our best to ensure that relief is given at this time."

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture and member of Parliament for Marco City Michael Pintard added that there are a number of people being assisted independently, either by MPs or various churches.

"We are asking residents who have gotten the supplies that they need to decline to accept additional supplies from some of the non-governmental organisations, churches or the government, so that somebody else can get assistance," he said.

Turning his attention to contractors, the minister said that there are a number of them who have consistently gotten contracts from government whether under this or the previous administration.

"We're asking that where possible, help particularly the senior citizens. There are a number of single women with children living in very tough conditions," Mr Pintard said. "We're asking if you can assist by at a minimum, giving a reasonable figure for the work that you're doing, but secondly, where you are able to volunteer some time, to do so in order to help.

"It is really a difficult time for a number of families, and we're asking persons to just really have a conscience and offer some assistance."

The minister said that when contacting a contractor, check with the Ministry of Works, which is familiar with contractors and whether or not they are reliable.

"We will not deceive you, we will tell you up front that we have a historical difficulty with a particular contractor if we have on record where they have started jobs, collected the payment and have done nothing else. Far too many horror stories exist where persons have paid, borrowed money in some cases, only to find that the work has not been done satisfactorily."

Also present was Rev Frederick McAlpine, member of Parliament for Pineridge, who said when receiving the funds, residents should be responsible and repair their roofs, and not pretend as if it's Christmas.

"The government has done this. They have held up their end of the bargain. Please, we don't want you to come back and say you didn't get, or your roof isn't repaired. We have a list, we know who got their roof repaired (cheque) and so don't call us out so we have to call you out. We know who you are, we know what we did and we did it in good faith," Rev McAlpine said.

The deadline for the programme was Friday, April 20.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Under what legal authority were the monies paid out under this so called "national repair program"? This is just another shining example of our government taking care of their friends and cronies by throwing our tax dollars their way, effectively robbing Peter to pay Paul. Is this going to happen every time we get hit by a hurricane? Are homes being repaired with our tax dollars that should not be repaired, but rather relocated inland?

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joeblow 7 months, 2 weeks ago

This is the kind of thing that cannot be encouraged in a democratic Bahamas. There is no way taxpayer funds should be used to fund such a scheme. Homes should have been inspected and if the contractors did not properly adhere to the guidelines for roofs they should be sued! Individuals are responsible for insuring their homes!

Can I get government to repair my car that was damaged in a hurricane?

Smells like a classic PLP move to me!

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Dawes 7 months, 2 weeks ago

So i don't need to get hurricane insurance anymore as Government will take care of my house should anything happen. Awesome.

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seamphony 7 months, 2 weeks ago

does anybody actually put any money aside every year for house repairs that you know are coming? i'm not a home inspector but i know a roof does not last forever even when there is no hurricane. This actually reminded me of how the post office and recently the central bank (they said oh it's over 40 years old) wants new buildings. I don't understand it. do they say yeah man this white house or empire state building is too old, let's build new one. no man just budget it and maintain it!

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bogart 7 months, 2 weeks ago

While the govt says 45,000 Bahamians live below the poverty level there are thousands more who live marginal existances..on the line...declining or no middle class ...even many who live in fancy homes that have empty fridge or no electricity etcetc It is a part of the job for govt to have realized this and jumped in the hurricane disaster relief to assist many left crippled after 24 hours of fierce storm with home flooded, roof layers good amd old r,ipped off. Over the decades it seems more taxes have been laid on the backs of all Bahsmians with the poor and neediest feeling it most and even the govt of all people dont have money to fix tings and even Attorney Genrral pointed out gap between rich and poor increasing. Even Doc Sands pointed out figures that it takes for people to survive...qualifed people heading overseas more nurses needed...tings ruff

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DDK 7 months, 1 week ago

Sounds like buying votes to me! Sickening!

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vlmarshall 7 months, 1 week ago

How does it sound like buying votes? That comment has me lost. Is it hard to believe that a government might actually be trying to help its citizenry?

I bet that had the government not initiated any assistance there would be a reverse in these comments. Lambasting the government for not being caring enough to assist.

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sheeprunner12 7 months, 1 week ago

At least the former Urban Renewal bosslady is not in the picture ..... BOL

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ThisIsOurs 7 months, 1 week ago

It does sound like urban renewal handouts, just with a different bumper sticker.

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joeblow 7 months, 1 week ago

Some of us have to assume responsibility for the tragic occurrences in our lives. We have to plan, save and invest. Where do you draw the line? Is every citizen who sustains hurricane damage and claim they cant pay for it going to have the same courtesy extended to them in the future as well? It is a bad precedent to set. When you do for some, you have to do for all or it creates a problem.

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vlmarshall 7 months, 1 week ago

So is better to do for none? I live in Grand Bahama, I see the roofing with tarp on them. I also see the persons sitting on the porches because the lights are out, I saw the long lines at Social Services for the unemployed, I know the economy here sucks. While I am sure that not everyone that received some assistance may be truly in need, I know for a fact that there are a lot of people that are not and have not been in a position to insure their homes. How do we take responsibility for being terminated from a job because the business closed down? Everyone has a plan until they get hit, so saying we have to plan. save and invest sounds good but that is rarely the case. Maybe we can plan but like I said when they were left unemployed what were the options? Find another job in an economy where hardly any jobs exist? Maybe they should pack up and move to Nassau, unfortunately not everyone is in that position. They should save, yeah I agree but when you aren't employed and bills keep coming and no income in coming in, that savings dwindles pretty fast and before you know it, you have no more savings. Maybe they should have invested. Really? I was lucky enough to be exposed to investing and fortunate to be able to buy local shares in a few corporations but its nothing to talk about, the return is minimal unless you were in a position to purchase huge amounts of preferred shares which in some cases cost as much as $1000.00 per share. So not only are your comments insensitive, they are one sided. This economy is a mess, and every day some people find it harder and harder to survive. In my daily conversations and perusals of topic boards such as these I often come across many who make broad based comments when they have not seen nor experienced the issue that speak of. My grandmother used to say to me "that he who feels it knows it".

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joeblow 7 months, 1 week ago

I owned several businesses and homes in GB so I am quite aware of what I am talking about. The people are too entitled, lazy and carefree. They do not behave like adults with responsibilities to a large extent and outsiders ALWAYS do better there than the natives for some reason. They steal time, goods and give away services to friends and family which contributes to businesses experiencing challenges. They love to credit and not pay bills! They love to write cheques they know will bounce! I know many business persons who complain about the local workforce, so they hire Bahamians from other islands or foreigners! Go figure!

I am tired of people sitting on their hands waiting for someone to do for them what they should be trying doing for themselves. I am also tired of taxpayer money being used to advance political agendas on the back of the overtaxed working class!

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vlmarshall 7 months, 1 week ago

Your reply leads me to believe that you are rather well off. So again, you sit on the opposite side. I'm sure you would say something such as " oh, I have friends that aren't well off", unfortunately that doesn't make it any better. I stand by my point that who knows it feels it, and you clearly do not know it. However, I notice your insistence on making broad statements such as "The people are too entitled, lazy and carefree. They do not behave like adults with responsibilities to a large extent and outsiders ALWAYS do better there than the natives for some reason. They steal time, goods and give away services to friends and family which contributes to businesses experiencing challenges. They love to credit and not pay bills! They love to write cheques they know will bounce!" You clearly have disdain for the people that you (I can only assume) make profits off of, at least when they aren't being lazy and stealing of course (yes, its sarcasm). Regardless as to how you feel about how taxpayers money is being used, you have no right to make broad statements that you cannot verify. Its called being irresponsible and I would hope that a successful businessman such as yourself (based on your previous boasting) is not being irresponsible. I mean after all you being irresponsible in one aspect is equivalent to lets say...some one stealing time, or writing bad cheques or maybe even obtaining credit and then not paying the bill. If you want to make such statements then provide proof to substantiate those claims.

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joeblow 7 months, 1 week ago

The intention was not to make this discussion personal but to simply highlight that my comments are based on personal experience, not in passing through, but living in GB. My "generalizations" are not pulled out of the air. My point remains, people have to be more proactive in trying to help themselves. I will not comment further on this matter!

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vlmarshall 7 months, 1 week ago

And for the record, as a country we are too heavily taxed to just give away money. I never ever advocate for hand outs, I believe that if our people are empowered then we can take care of ourselves and provided we don't get to big for our britches, we can help take care of the less fortunate as well.

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