Cayman Brac’s public works department has three new dumptrucks.
Minister of Planning, Communications, District Administration and Information Technology Juliana O’Connor-Connolly handed over the keys to the new public works vehicles during a visit to the Sister Islands on 18 March, where she also met with District Administration staff.
The 2005 Sterling LT9500 (20yd) dumptrucks feature specialized Mercedes Benz engines.
Joining the minister on tour were officials from her ministry including Acting Permanent Secretary Christine Maltman, Chief Financial Officer Philip Thomas, Chief Environmental Health Officer Roydell Carter, Director of Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services Dale Dacres, Chief Petroleum Officer Gary McTaggart and Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary Leyda Nicholson-Coe.
‘I’m thrilled to be here – firstly since I’m home and also to be able to hand over these new vehicles,’ said Ms O’Connor-Connolly to those gathered at the presentation.
. She also thanked Mr. Thomas, Permanent Secretary Kearney Gomez, Mr. McTaggart, Ms. Nicholson-Coe and Mr. Dacres, ‘a fellow Bracker’ for their support and help in expediting the transfer process.
The new trucks are, in Mr. Dacres words, ‘top of the line vehicles,’ replacing older vehicles which spent much of their intended work time being repaired. Multiple uses are planned for the trucks, including road and public works and hurricane debris removal. Total cost for the three new vehicles was US$337,000.
District Commissioner Mr. Ryan, who heads the Public Works team, thanked the minister, saying ‘this has been a long time coming.’ He also thanked Mr. Dacres and Thompson Shipping for their help in transporting the new trucks to Cayman Brac. Mr. Dacres in turn informed the crowd that more new equipment would be arriving soon for the Brac, including a chip spreader, tank trunk and tractor.
Heavy Equipment Operators Danny Tatum and Jean-Louis Dilbert were on hand to demonstrate their driving skills for the group, having recently completed training to operate the trucks. Foreman in the Roads Section of PWD Myron Ryan and Mechanical Superintendent Joey DaCosta trained both drivers in Cayman Brac shortly after returning from a one-day training seminar for Sterling trucks in Miami in early March.
Acting Assistant Works Manager Mr. Bodden said that extra equipment for diagnostic testing of the Mercedes Benz engines would be arriving soon and that Mechanical Superintendent Joey DaCosta would be overseeing the training of public works mechanics in maintaining the specialized engines.
Also on Ms O’Connor-Connolly’s agenda was a meeting with a dozen top Cayman Brac government officials including Mr. Ryan, Deputy District Commissioner Ernie Scott and representatives from District Administration, Planning, Immigration, Customs, Public Works, Mosquito Research and Control Unit, Lands and Survey and Department of Environmental Health.
Each representative took the opportunity to give departmental status reports and to raise any outstanding matters to be dealt with by the ministry, to the end of the financial year (June 2005).
Before returning to Gerrard Smith Airport for the trip home, the group stopped to visit the future site of the Watering Place Cemetery. Purchased last year, the land was originally slated for use as a sub station for the Cayman Brac Fire Service. However, since concerns arose about possible flooding of the low-lying land after Hurricane Ivan, Fire Services decided that a location on the bluff would be more appropriate for their needs.
Work on the cemetery will begin in the next month and includes clearing and preparing the land for plots, beautification of the area and developing space for public parking.