Government Committed to Renovating Dilapidated Buildings to Reduce High Rental Cost

Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 27, 2016 (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has embarked on a thrust to renovate dilapidated public buildings that have been allowed to fall into disrepair due to a lack of proper maintenance over the years. In doing so, the Government hopes to save significant sums of money that are presently being paid for the rental of buildings used as public office spaces.

To facilitate the renovation and rehabilitation of the derelict public buildings, a committee has been established and charged with the responsibility of conducting an audit to determine how to address the present situation with public office spaces and determine how much more space is required to house public offices.

Speaking at the “Discussions for Prosperity” Town Hall Meeting at the Newtown Community Center on Monday, July 25, the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, Minister of Public Infrastructure, gave an update on the progress that the committee that has been tasked with doing the audit has been making.

“This committee will undertake a comprehensive programme to rehabilitate and renovate a number of public buildings, including the Ministry of Finance and the Old Development Bank Building adjacent to the Government Headquarters,” said Minister Liburd. “We will seek to implement an agreement for the design and construction of an office complex at Golden Rock, formally the Stanford Building to accommodate ministries currently occupying rental or dilapidated spaces under a build, own, lease and transfer scheme.”

Minister Liburd noted that an expenditure report was done to determine the Government’s expenditure with respect to rental space.

“In November 2015, we had the Accountant-General present a report on the expenditure of rental of office space from 1998-2015,” he said, while noting that the report revealed that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has about 24 rental space arrangements across ministries and departments. “On a monthly basis the expenditure for rent is approximately EC$190, 233. The Government expenditure of rental on office space has been steadily increasing over the past years.”

Minister Liburd noted that during the period 2010-2015 the annual expenditure for the rental of office space was approximately EC$ 2 million. He said that a total of EC$10, 827,857 was spent over the past five years and a total of EC$ 17 million before assuming office in February 2015.

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