By LETRE SWEETING
Tribune Staff Reporter
DAYS before a by-election in Bimini, the Davis administration signed a $2m road works contract on Friday to pave, reconstruct and repair roads and drains on that island.
Knowles Construction received the contract in what Free National Movement chairman Duane Sands described as an attempt to convince residents that the Progressive Liberal Party cares about Bimini and West Grand Bahama.
The project will cost $2,819,713 and involve removing dirt and weeds and patching potholes. Nearly 38,000 square yards of road will be repaired.
Drains will be cleared, and road signs will be erected, according to officials.
Works and Family Island Affairs Minister Clay Sweeting, other Cabinet ministers and officials from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Renewal, the Ministry of Social Services, the Disaster Reconstruction Authority and the Ministry of Health were in Bimini on Friday to assess the island after bad weather last week. Mr Sweeting said better roads for Bimini were among the last things Obie Wilchcombe requested before his death on September 25.
“When I moved to the ministry, I asked all my Cabinet colleagues to submit their most important capital projects from their constituencies. The very first submission I received was from the late Obie Wilchcombe,” he said. “He passed just three days after sending me that list.”
Mr Sweeting denied political gain is behind the timing of the project. “To further dispel the thought of this being an election ploy, as the minister with responsibility for Works and Family Island Affairs, know that I am committed to rolling out several capital initiatives throughout the Family Islands,” he said.
Dr Sands, however, questioned the timing of the project and thrashed the PLP.