Quantity surveyor gives thumbs up to $17-m MoBay welcome sign

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

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THE Ministry of Tourism says market research by a leading quantity surveyor has backed its proposed $17-million spend on the Welcome to Montego Bay sign for the tourist resort town in St James.

Following sharp public criticism after the ministry announced the project last month, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett ordered Permanent Secretary Jennifer Griffith to conduct a full review of the costs associated with the project.

The project was originally slated for completion this month, but senior communications strategist in the ministry Delano Seiveright told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that a new January deadline has been set.

In a statement, the ministry said quantity surveying firms Davidson and Hanna has given the Tourism Product Development Company's bill of quantities the “thumbs up”, saying based on its market survey the $17-million price tag was in fact underpriced for the scope of the project.

Pointing out that the company was recommended by the Master Builders' Association of Jamaica, the ministry said Davidson and Hanna had examined the rates in the bill of quantities submitted by the Ministry of Tourism and compared them to market rates.

“They reported that most of the rates were found to be in order, except for the following: In their opinion the estimates for the wall cladding is low; the estimate for lettering and signage was insufficient for the execution of the work.”

The ministry said the company also confirmed the accuracy of the quantities and that with respect to the overall estimate of construction costs generated by the Tourism Development Product Company (TPDCo), “it was evident that the sum was insufficient for the execution of the works”.

According to the report, “Notwithstanding, the rates overall do reflect market conditions and demonstrate what we are finding in the building and construction industry.”

Bartlett has insisted that with the private sector's injection of $5 million construction will be completed well within budget.

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