Government borrowing plan: $155M

The
Cayman Islands government has set specific guidelines for the $155 million it
intends to borrow in the upcoming budget year.

According
to details of the borrowing released by Premier McKeeva Bush’s office, more
than half of the sum will go toward work on the two new public high schools on
Grand Cayman as well as the completion of the new government office
accommodation project.

About
$53.8 million of the borrowing has been earmarked for the new John Gray and
Clifton Hunter high school campuses, as well as work on some primary schools.

Education
Minister Rolston Anglin has said work at the two schools sites is expected to
resume as soon as a project manager is selected.

Another
$30 million has been set aside for the completion of the government office
building on Elgin Avenue in George Town. Work there is expected to be finished
by January 2011 – within the next budget year.

The
completion of the new administration building is expected to save the Cayman
Islands between $8 million and $10 million per year in lease payments the
government now makes on the various offices it is renting in Grand Cayman.

Some
$29.4 million will go to meet the day-to-day operational needs of government,
such as funding the operating deficit and other obligations. Cayman is expected
to end the 2010/11 fiscal year with something close to a $32 million deficit,
which means its revenues are again expected to fall short of what it is
spending.

About
$18.5 million has been earmarked to support the operations or assist with
purchases for a number of statutory authorities and government-owned companies.
Those include $5.1 million for Cayman Airways, $1.8 million for the Health
Services Authority, $9.7 million for the Cayman Turtle Farm and $1.9 million
for the National Housing and Development Trust.

Some
$16.1 million will be borrowed, mainly for purchasing expenses, for the
Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs, judicial administration, legal
affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Community Affairs, the Ministry of
District Administration and the Ministry of Finance.

The
remaining $7.2 million will be borrowed for a number of public works projects,
including:

•A
secured remand facility for juveniles who are criminal suspects

•An
emergency shelter for Cayman Brac, as well as payment for Brac land acquired
for roads and the bluff play field

•Various
road construction projects around the Cayman Islands.