September 04, 2013
Government negotiators have verified that Baha Mar developers spent more than $100 million for the rerouting of West Bay Street, Minister of Works Philip Brave Davis said yesterday, adding that Cabinet now has to agree to the final amount the government will pay for the road.
However, Davis did not reveal the figure Cabinet would be asked to approve.
"I think I am satisfied that I am in a position now to enable me and my team to make a presentation to Cabinet as to what we think should be the way forward and that presentation will be made some time today [Tuesday]," Davis said yesterday morning.
Davis would not say if Baha Mar would accept a lower payout from the government. He did say that there are a few points that still have to be worked out.
"We have verified that over $100 million has been spent and that's what we have been able to do," he said. "The next step was validating whether or not [the figure is] admissible spending for the project that was contemplated by the agreement. That was the road diversion and the Corridor Seven and that is where the challenge has been with us. It now boils down to an interpretative approach and that's what we are doing.
"We now have what we believe to be the proper interpretative approach, which I hope to put to Cabinet, and very soon you'll probably know what that will be.
"If Cabinet agrees with the position I put to them today I will then go back to Baha Mar with that position and I think having regard to the discussions we had, if Cabinet agrees then I think we are that much closer to signing off on everything."
In June, The Nassau Guardian first reported that the government was eying a payout to Baha Mar that was lower than the sum initially expected.
Under the agreement with Baha Mar, the government is obligated to pay $47.8 million to Baha Mar if the cost of the reconfiguration of West Bay Street exceeded $70 million, Davis said earlier this year.
He said if the figure is less than $70 million, the government would only be obligated to pay 50 percent. This figure is the government's portion of costs for the new West Bay Street that runs along the luxury development.
The Nassau Guardian previously reported that government technical experts have reportedly assessed the value of the Baha Mar roadwork at around $58 million.
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