Gov’t urges greater local content on air

The greater use of local content on Cayman’s radio stations is being urged by the government, Communications Minister Arden McLean told the House.

‘It is our belief that all our broadcasters have a civic responsibility to maximise the use of local content, whether that be musical or otherwise,’ he said on Monday.

Mr. McLean said he was meeting broadcasters to remind them of their obligation and ‘to encourage them to improve upon their present performance.’

Answering a question, he pointed out that Radio Cayman first developed a local talk show and that other radio stations were following suit and giving an opportunity for the airing of local opinions.

Mr. McLean said he was aware that the Cayman Musicians and Entertainers Association would like the government to enact legislation to provide for the playing of at least two local songs every hour.

But he told the House he felt that type of legislation was a last resort to be considered only if other initiatives failed.

‘Radio Cayman will lead by example and I plan to have it partner with CITN to inject more local community-based programming into not only radio but television,’ he said.

Highway costs

The estimated cost of the continuation of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway is more than $21 million, the Legislative Assembly was told.

In answer to a question on Monday, Roads Minister Arden McLean said the estimated cost of the continuation of the road to Governor’s Harbour, including the road works and land acquisition is $21.1 million.

Mr. Mclean gave a break down of the figures as $16.4 million for road works to be completed by the government, $2.3 million to be completed by the Ritz-Carlton and $2.3 million for land acquisition.

‘In the 2005-06 approved budget, there is $3 million allocated for the ongoing works at the Esterley Tibbetts Highway (phase three),’ Mr. McLean told the House.

‘The ongoing works which will take us just past Snug Harbour is estimated to cost CI$3 million, he said.

Spotts Dock policy

A policy of accommodating a maximum of three ships at the Spotts Dock has been adopted by the Port Authority, the House was told on Monday.

In answer to a question, Minister Charles Clifford said the policy in relation to Grand Cayman’s alternative cruise ship dock had been adopted at the authority’s board of directors meeting in January.

Answering questions from West Bay MLA Rolston Anglin, Mr. Clifford said the Port Authority determined which ships were granted space at Spotts Dock on a first come, first served basis.

‘The ‘first come, first served’ methodology has been discussed with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association and the association has undertaken to consult its member lines on whether another system may be preferred,’ Mr. Clifford told the House.

Paving machine

A $298,000 Ingersoll-Rand paving machine and other equipment is on order for use on Cayman’s roads, the House was told.

Other associated machinery needed to complete the paving crew includes a $41,000 small roller compactor, a $107,000 large roller compactor and three dump trucks at a total of $298,000, Roads Minister Arden McLean said on Monday.

Mr. McLean said the National Roads Authority’s road building capabilities were intended to be enhanced by the ability to install hot mix asphalt on government road projects.

The policy enables the NRA to carry out its own hot mix asphalt paving operations.

‘Under the new policy the National Roads Authority will still be purchasing hot mix asphalt from Island Paving Ltd as that company remains the sole producer of hot mixed asphalt in Cayman,’ said Mr. McLean.

The paver and rollers are all new equipment being acquired through Island Paving Ltd which is the authorised dealer for Ingersoll-Rand equipment in Cayman, he told the House.

Esso to supply airport

Esso has been granted permission to supply aviation fuel at Owen Roberts International Airport, Minister Charles Clifford told the Legislative Assembly.

Answering a question from MLA Osbourne Bodden in the House on Monday, Mr. Clifford said the Cayman Islands Airports Authority granted the permission last month.

‘This approval facilitates competition as there will now be two companies permitted to operate at Owen Roberts International Airport,’ said Mr. Clifford.

‘These two fuel companies are Chevron (formerly Texaco) and now Esso,’ he said.

Mr. Clifford told the House that in late 2005, the government had made the policy decision to liberalise the supply of fuel at the airport.

He said Esso was considering its options for delivering fuel to the airport.

The airlines would negotiate with the two companies and competition would be in the interests of the consumers, he told the House.

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