Cayman Islands Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush expressed concern regarding a new vehicle licensing facility set to open soon in Breakers via a letter sent to Governor Helen Kilpatrick last week.
The letter, sent on Jan. 7, noted: “I am concerned about the process, or lack thereof, in regards to the new vehicle facility in Breakers.”
It is planned that the government Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing will offer the same services at the new Breakers building as at its other two locations – vehicle inspection, registration and licensing – when it opens later this month. The licensing facility is expected to cater particularly to heavy equipment operators.
The $1.4 million facility was built by Tony Powell, who owns the South Coast Bar and Grill restaurant across the street from the licensing building. Mr. Powell said he is renting the inspection and licensing facility to the government.
In an interview with the Cayman Compass in December, Mr. Powell said he was approached by an official from the licensing department in 2014 who suggested he build the vehicle and registration complex at the site.
In his letter, Mr. Bush asked the governor to advise “what is/was the terms and feasibility of building the new facility?”
Specifically, the opposition leader raised four questions regarding the project:
Who owns the land?
Who did the construction?
Does government own the facility?
What tendering process was used by government in agreeing to a licensing facility on the property?
“I write to you with these questions as you are responsible for the oversight of good governance in this jurisdiction,” Mr. Bush stated.
Mr. Bush said that if he had not received a response from the governor’s office by the time the Legislative Assembly next meets, he would file formal parliamentary questions about the project.
Premier Alden McLaughlin was contacted for comment about Mr. Bush’s letter to the governor, but said he would not “dignify it with a response.”
The project falls under the government Ministry of Planning and Infrastructure. Officials there said in December that they had envisaged the facility to be centrally located in the Bodden Town area and that it would cater to heavy equipment operators, dump trucks, 18-wheelers and the like. The ministry also noted its view that the facility would present “minimal cost to the government.”
In December, Mr. Powell said he believed the new licensing facility represented a great public-private sector partnership, which helps government and allows him to build a complimentary commercial vehicle repair operation on site.