Minister of Works set to transform Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salavador
New Bight, Cat Island – A $1.8 million contract has been signed for the construction of a 500-foot concrete seawall and the repair of 1.8 miles of road in central Cat Island. The contract was signed between the Ministry of Works and Marlon Enterprises on Thursday, August 22, at the Media Centre in the settlement of Knowles in New Bight, Cat Island.
Representing the first-ever contract of its kind for the island with this scope of work being carried out by an indigenous Cat Islander, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development, Hon. Phillip Davis, said that he was ‘proud’ that this work was being carried out by a ‘native’ son of the soil.
“As you would know, Cat Island is a ‘sleeping jewel,’ of the chain of islands of The Bahamas,” said Mr. Davis. “And as you know, there are very few things to do here, therefore, in order to attract people who wish to invest at home, one of the attractions is to put in place the necessary infrastructure to facilitate those potential investments.“
Mr. Davis explained part of the government’s and his own personal commitment to the people of The Bahamas, he was especially proud that the contract was awarded to persons who are ‘living’ on the island and who have a vested interest in the future of the island.
He said ‘more often than not’ whenever there is a need for capital works to be carried out on any of the islands in The Bahamas, the ‘indigenous’ persons on the island would be given first preference for the contracts. In the event that the indigenous persons may not have the ‘capacity’ to fully carry out the work, then, he said, all efforts would be made to ensure that the company awarded the contract would partner with the local talent of the communities.
Minister Davis also explained the process for the selection of the company chosen to carry out the work. “It was determined that Marlon Enterprises be awarded the contract after a competitive and vigorous bidding process which included six contractors, including submissions by G & L Construction, Solar Enterprises, G7 Construction, Marlon Enterprises and Mark Stubbs,” he said.
“After this very competitive process, the recipient of the award for the contract was selected by the Tenders Board and Cabinet,” he said. “Marlon Enterprises’ estimate was the sum that came closest to the in-house estimate and was also the sum that came closest to what the government had estimated to spend.
Androsian and Deputy Chief Councillor, Mr. Ezra Russell, signed on behalf of Marlon and said that the work will commence in two weeks and anticipates that the work will be competed in 120 days.
Cat Island is in the central Bahamas, and has the nation’s highest point, Mount Alvernia (also known as Como Hill). It rises to 206 ft (63 m) and is topped by a monastery called The Hermitage. Cat Island prides itself on producing the finest rake & scrape music in The Bahamas and holds an annual festival each June to highlight Rake n’Scrape Music. The other major attraction for Cat Island is its annual regatta, which features Sloop racing, live entertainment and cultural activities and food and drinks. The current population of the island stands at approximately 1,500.