A video showing the work done on the controversial Brewer’s Bay bathroom project drew dozens of angry responses after it was posted on social media last Friday.
But the contractor who worked on the project — Kendol Arthur of K&C Construction — lashed out strongly at his detractors in a late night Facebook
post of his own, over those criticism. Arthur staunchly defended his company’s handiwork and reminded persons that his bid at $124,000 was the lowest for the project.
“The price that I offered was the price that was used to build the bathroom,” Arthur said. “For most people who’s talking about the price of the bathroom, Mitch (Second District Representative) already explained that it still remains that I was the lowest bidder of eight bids from $300,000 down.”
In captioning the more than two-minute long video, the social media user who posted the footage remarked: “This is what a quarter of a million dollars get you in the BVI.”
The user suggested that residents may not have received value for money with the project, and many persons who shared their views also agreed with this position.
However, Arthur suggested otherwise. He insisted that his company not only executed the job in spite of the relatively low bid, but also accused the person who posted the video of the unfinished project of having a political agenda and of trying to ruin his reputation.
The contractor also alleged that the project manager has been the reason the project remains incomplete to date.
In the meantime, Natural Resources Minister, Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull – in whose district the project is located – suggested that criticisms of the project executed under his Ministry, as well as references to its apparent inflated costs were being done with nefarious political intent.
Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley disclosed just last month that the initial sum awarded to Arthur’s company was not the final project cost and said the government had allotted an additional amount of $101,000 towards the project’s completion through a budget supplementary appropriation.
But when a resident expressed dismay to the premier over the high cost, it was Turnbull who was left to offer an explanation about the project’s breakdown.
The Natural Resources Minister argued that reports suggesting that he was constructing a bathroom valued at more than $400,000 were “complete misrepresentation of the facts for political gain”; the blame for which he laid firmly at the feet of the ruling administration.
Turnbull also said he did not believe moneys paid to the contractor so far have ripped off the public purse and argued that the work done on the project, in his estimation, has offered value for money. He also suggested that he was dissatisfied with the length of time it had taken to come to completion.
According to Turnbull, electric work, pipe fittings, a countertop and the construction of a ramp for differently abled persons are among the things left to be done before the project can be considered as completed.