The disaster fund set up in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 will wind down at the end of this year, barring any catastrophic hurricanes this season.
A handful of construction and repair projects left over from Hurricanes Ivan on Grand Cayman and Hurricane Paloma on Cayman Brac remain to be finished and paid for by the Cayman Islands National Recovery Fund, with completion dates scheduled for the end of November.
After that, according to managing partner at legal firm Appleby Global, Huw Moses who is one of the trustees of the fund, it will be wound down, its office handed back to the National Trust and the remaining members of staff let go.
‘Everybody is convinced we should leave the entire infrastructure in place ready to spring back into action should the need arise. The only question left is whether the fund should be engaged in other activities related to recovery or whether it should go into hibernation,’ Mr. Moses said.
‘Obviously, we hope nothing happens this season. If something happens this season, we won’t go into hibernation and we will not be laying off staff. If nothing happens, we go into hibernation by March next year and expect not to have any staff,’ he added.
There are three members of staff working at the fund. As part of the winding down exercise, its executive director Mark Laskin left at the end of July and was replaced by former project manager Finley Josephs.
The fund, set up on 23 September, 2004, to administer donations that flooded in following Hurricane Ivan, broadened the scope of its work when Hurricane Paloma devastated Cayman Brac in November last year.
Work on eight Ivan-related projects continues on Grand Cayman and are expected to be completed by the end of November.
On the Brac, 17 projects are in the construction phase and 18 are in the retention phase, meaning the work has been carried out but contractors are awaiting payment. Another five are waiting to go out for tender and three are awaiting site inspection.
All the Cayman Brac projects are also expected to be completed by the end of November, Mr. Moses said. He added that the outstanding work at the Brac would cost about $500,000.
A small amount of money would remain in the fund’s coffers, to keep accounts open and to enable it to restart in the event of a future disaster.
In the meantime, National Trust House in Courts Road, which has been home to the National Recovery Fund since 2006 will be handed back to the National Trust which has been allowing the Fund to remain there rent-free.