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Hon Vanterpool took 'unnecessary heat' for Pier Park project – Premier Smith

- said Tortola Pier Park is unsurpassed anywhere in the world
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith said that his Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool took some “unnecessary” heat for the cruise pier development project but persevered nevertheless. Photo: VINO/File
Former project developer Hugh E. Darley had accused Minister Vanterpool of steering him away from certain persons during the initial stages of the project. Darley, the President of I D E A Inc., accused the Minister of not delivering value to the people, saying that the people did not get value for money. Photo: VINO/File
Former project developer Hugh E. Darley had accused Minister Vanterpool of steering him away from certain persons during the initial stages of the project. Darley, the President of I D E A Inc., accused the Minister of not delivering value to the people, saying that the people did not get value for money. Photo: VINO/File
Darley made allegations of overspending of up to $10 million on the project and that the project cost was ballooning over and above what had been originally estimated. He said the project was first estimated to cost about $45 million but noted that it was going to cost over $70 million. This was before the Minister revealed that the project was $82.9 million and possibly higher as it was not finished. Photo: VINO/File
Darley made allegations of overspending of up to $10 million on the project and that the project cost was ballooning over and above what had been originally estimated. He said the project was first estimated to cost about $45 million but noted that it was going to cost over $70 million. This was before the Minister revealed that the project was $82.9 million and possibly higher as it was not finished. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith said his Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool took some “unnecessary” heat for the cruise pier development project but persevered nevertheless.

He was delivering remarks on Tuesday February 16, 2016 during the opening ceremony for Tortola Pier Park, one half of the controversial cruise pier development project for which it was revealed cost some $82.9 million and work is still ongoing.

“I want now to commend the Minister for Communications and Works the Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool for delivering on this project. He has taken a lot of unnecessary heat for this but he steadfastly kept his eye on the prize,” he said.

Minister accused of perverting the process

Former project developer Hugh E. Darley had accused Minister Vanterpool of steering him away from certain persons during the initial stages of the project.

Darley, the President of I D E A Inc., accused the Minister of not delivering value to the people, saying that the people did not get value for money.

“The Minister (Hon Vanterpool) pulled all the strings and told us who to talk to, who to meet with. I was forbidden to speak with anyone in the Opposition. It was always done in private,” Darley said, adding that over the two years he lived on Tortola he has purchased “many meals for many people,” during those meetings.

Darley made allegations of overspending of up to $10 million on the project and that the project cost was ballooning over and above what had been originally estimated. He said the project was first estimated to cost about $45 million but noted that it was going to cost over $70 million. This was before the Minister revealed that the project was $82.9 million and possibly higher as it was not finished.

The Minister at a previous press conference said that he was never involved in any corruption and that he is very comfortable with the project, even though acknowledging that mistakes have been made.

Further, Minister Vanterpool admitted in the House of Assembly of February 4, 2016 while being grilled by First District Representative and Member of the Opposition Hon Andrew A. Fahie that he failed to update the public properly with information regarding the ports project and said he was going to do so from thereon.

Unsurpassed anywhere!

There have been criticisms of the scaled back Tortola Pier Park project in that there is nothing unique about it. One critic of the project said: "This whole project is just a bunch of mirage crayon coloured buildings and huts with no concrete theme nor story."

However, the Premier said that having travelled far and wide on business and for pleasure he could say without fear of contradiction that Tortola Pier Park is unsurpassed anywhere.

He said that there is no other destination offering the quality and variety that the Virgin Islands is offering to cruise passengers.

He said too that Tortola Pier Park is the first opportunity for the territory to create a lasting impression on its visitors.

The Premier acknowledged that there is a need to level the playing field for merchants both inside and outside the Tortola Pier Park, a clear reference to the vendors at Crafts Alive and others around the territory who expressed concern that with the Pier Park the cruise passenger dollars may not be evenly spread among all merchants.

26 Responses to “Hon Vanterpool took 'unnecessary heat' for Pier Park project – Premier Smith”

  • rattie (18/02/2016, 09:30) Like (28) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some one must take the hits someone must account for the missing $$$$$ millions
  • Political Observer. (18/02/2016, 09:47) Like (31) Dislike (1) Reply
    The MCW took unnecessary heat for the Pier Park project? Really! If not the MCW, who should have taken the heat for a $48M cost overrun? I see that the Premier did not step up and take the heat, which he should have, for he as the leader of government business in the HOA has the ultimate responsibility. Can the Premier say with a straight and serious face that a $48M budget overrun and counting is normal and should not bring any heat? In fact, for the mismanagement of the project, the heat received was nothing. The whole project management team should be getting white heat under their tail. They need to be held accountable and an independent investigation should be conducted. The Gocernor failed in his responsibility by not commissioning a Commission of Inquiry(COI); the Governor still needs to awake from his slumber and take time from his tropical vacation and do his damn job-commission a COI. A COI should clear all the dark, swirling and gathering clouds from the project. If the NDP's hands are clean, then they should welcome a COI. Further, if the MCW cannot stand the heat, perhaps he should not be in the kitchen.

    On another note, the project is being hailed as the best in the Caribbean. But at what cost? $82.9+. Could the project have been constructed for much less and attained the same result? How does the cost of this project compared with the cost of a similar project of the same scope at other locales? We spend more per capita to construct the facility yet attain the same result as other locales who spent less per capita. How much has the BVI spent relative to other locales to bring a cruise passenger to the BVI?

    Moreover, the Premier is promising that he will lower the playing field between merchants in the Port Pier area and merchants outside. The duty free concessions for merchants outside the Port Pier should have occurred at the same time. Is the whole Road Town area going to be designated a duty free zone? Are the merchants outside of the Port Pier area going to be slaughtered to incentivize the merchants within the Port Pier area? Are locals going to be permitted to shop within the Port Pier area?
  • Nickedema (18/02/2016, 09:58) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    Project Management fundamentals, change orders not to exceed 10% of project estimated cost. I believe Mr. Hugh E. Darley. VI people follow this carefully, the figures must add up. If this was a CDB financed project like the 15 million which is taking years to spend, we would have gotten value for US$ spent.
    If an internationally recognized accounting firm is not engaged to carry out a full audit and financial investigation into the expenditure of the $82.0 million, then I would engage the UK government, FCO and the Opposition in that order.
  • quote thief (18/02/2016, 09:59) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    "Self-deception comes from not having enough psychological strength to admit the truth and deal with the consequences that will follow when the truth is acknowledge.”
  • at any cost (18/02/2016, 10:09) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    This man is going out on a limb to protect his brother in law.
    • @ at any cost (18/02/2016, 10:56) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
      did you see the sully post from his sister LS about his so called passion its like NEXT!
  • Xxx (18/02/2016, 10:09) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Somebody rich bossie
  • I say no more (18/02/2016, 10:11) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Depleted funds for road project...Overspending by 40 plus millions on cruise pier project.
  • throw corn but call no fowl (18/02/2016, 10:15) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    House full speed ahead refurbishing, top of the line vehicle, all outstanding bills paid off and personal businesses booming. I will rest my case here.
  • SMH (18/02/2016, 10:24) Like (29) Dislike (1) Reply
    every time doc speaks he just confirms what many already think, he is either out of touch or asleep at the wheel, lincoln once said it is better to be quiet and thought a fool than to open your mouth and be confirmed to be one.
  • rio (18/02/2016, 10:24) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    You cannot fix what you are not willing to confront. Dr. you cannot confront your brother in law and you know that.
  • real lol (18/02/2016, 10:39) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    So wait at pier party Mark says Doc is best premier ever. And says we have $50 million currently in reserves. Now that's funny. The minister of money don't know how much reserves we got but the minister of road repairs does.

    Then a day or two later Doc throws a bone back to Mark saying he taking heat without merit.

    They never take blame. The truth coming out heard a source is coming from UK not under Governors guidance but governor is aware of what's coming that's why he staying quiet and letting his former buddies the ministers dig a deeper hole.

    Haven't you all noticed the Cuban distancing himself from the others. His white friends done told him of the Coming!
  • Boo (18/02/2016, 14:30) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Excuse me. 100% price increase with no explanation and especially the "soft costs"
  • Building Copurage (18/02/2016, 15:04) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    “However, the Premier said that having travelled far and wide on business and for pleasure he could say without fear of contradiction that Tortola Pier Park is unsurpassed anywhere.”

    If this is your position, maybe you need to “revisit” Indonesia, in particular-Bali, to truly experience how the blend between cruise tourism, architecture, and culture is spectacularly done. Every component boldly magnifies who they are as a People- their story, their beauty, their evolution, and their vision.

    For this type of money we are spending, Why can't we get more?
  • WTF (18/02/2016, 21:24) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Doc you must have been exceptionally well paid, to be talking this bull sh***. You keep praising Mark which makes you look more than suspect, in the overspending of $48 mil on the TPP. It is either you participated in the activity of the missing $48 mil, or something is wrong with you, and you need your head examined.
  • Dulcina (18/02/2016, 22:30) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Folks,if Darley is your "star witness" , you have lost your case against Vanterpool and NDP.
    Mark Fuhrman was the star witness in the OJ Simpson case and even with compelling evidence,OJ was acquitted.
    Always consider your source.
    At best Darley can only make you folks out to be coons of a different kind in Paradise.
  • Bushmaster (19/02/2016, 00:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    http://www.virginislandsnewsonline.com/ads/50th_Piece_2.jpg

    This graphic says it all. Captain sleeping at the wheel.
  • farmer brown (19/02/2016, 23:51) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is just one load of promises with no explanation of how these will be funded.
  • 911 (20/02/2016, 00:32) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Voters Remorse'.
  • from here (20/02/2016, 08:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just a bunch of educated jack******s if you ask me. The premier is tired, old and beaten. He is over run by Misses plus all the other ministers. Have you seen him lately? AS for the Cuban, he is too busy lining his pockets with the offerings from being paid under the table by the bosses of ONB and other establishments
  • Truth for the youths. (21/02/2016, 11:32) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    This man Daley is really something else. Why should u be speaking with the opposition you have a contract with the government of the day not the opposition.
    Try take you case to court and get justice there boss. Really out of place!!! Talking about buying many meals for people!!! Dude please.
    • hold on (21/02/2016, 19:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Something twisted. The government is made up of both sides and so the opposition has a right.
  • goverment in the sun shine (22/02/2016, 19:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Who should know better about "empty" election promise than the NDP themself?! Beware of people with forked tongue....dont draw it!
  • born here... (23/02/2016, 20:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    by any means necessary Eeh .. anything to get votes. and then gonna talk about VIP....


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