NRA not party to road MOU

| 13/03/2014

(CNS): An FOI request sent to the relevant ministry and the National Roads Authority on Monday revealed that government did not include that agency in the Memorandum of Understanding it signed with developers regarding a potential public-private partnership (PPP) over a major public road extension. As a result of government’s silence on media requests for a copy of this MOU, CNS submitted a formal FOI request for the document, which is of significant public interest but which government seems reluctant to reveal. When we did we were informed by the NRA information manager that the authority did not hold the relevant document and referred us to the ministry.

CNS has contacted the NRA management and board as well as the ministry to ask why the roads authority is not party to an agreement in which government has committed in principle to a partnership that will result in the extension of the east-west arterial to Frank Sound. However we have received no reply from any of those contacted.

The MOU, which was signed by government and the developers of a proposed mixed use retirement community last month, has remained under wraps but it relates to the possibility of the owners behind the potential Ironwood development financing the $40 million road extension via duty waivers.

The developers have said the mixed used retirement community, resort and golf course is contingent on the road, which has already stirred significant controversy as a result of the extension's route through National Trust property, including the naturally, historically and culturally significant Mastic Reserve. In addition, the proposed community is believed to pose a threat to the fresh water lens in the area and the Queen Elizabeth Botanic Garden as the potential development borders that royal park’s land.

Despite this the MOU that government signed at a cocktail party at the Westin without revealing the contents to the public, it is understood that the deal commits government to undertaking the necessary business case studies and analysis with a view to a PPP on the road extension, which will still ultimately be paid for by the public purse.

Sources close to the NRA have also revealed that the statutory authority doesn’t consider this project a priority because besides the request from the developer, there is at present no justification to invest in that extension.

There are also now new concerns that if the east-west arterial went ahead at this time, with the arrival of the Shetty hospital in East End, the more southern route, which was gazetted in the 1990s as part of the grand master transportation plan, would be a more appropriate location for the road that the one gazetted in 2005, which follows the more northerly route, threatening the National Trust land.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Remember I told you guys: –

    UDP means United Dollar Party

    But I've always said PPM means Politicians Progressive Movement!

    And C4C, always typing C4C pressing the shift key and getting C$C

    So that should tell ya something!

    • Anonymous says:

      Indeed 09.22, it tells me that you are capable of reading other peoples old comments and repeating them parrot fashion. Do you have some thoughts of your own or is that too much to ask??

    • And Another Ting says:

      CNS who is authorized  under the law, to build and maintain roads, is it the Cabinet or the NRA. Please read the NR law and tell de good folks what has happened with this MOU on a napkin at the Westin. I know you smart you will tell the truth and nothing but the truth. I await your comments you smart I ain't, people listen to you. And Another Ting don't be scared.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Keep on Keeping on Cayman News Service. 

    Yesterday, in the Compass Editorial, "Ironwood and Banana Orchids", I was shocked to read the following:

    "But rather than airing their concerns on the Information Superhighway, the Trust, behaving like a group of sensible adults, has chosen to engage in direct conversation with the relevant parties."

    This raises so many red flags and sets off so many alarm bells it is beyond comprehension. Most notably, we are in 2014. "Information Superhighway" terminology was used way back and for only a minute. Only a person who is pushed down by the power of the internet and technology would refer to it as such. No, we are not still back in 1980 where glossy magazines and smelly newspapers are the only media. We are in 2014 where information travels at the speed of light. Where information is passed on digital devices, almost immediately, for ALL to see. 

    I implore everyone with Cayman in their hearts to get up and rage against this machine and their back door talks. This is NOT ok. This behavior does not point to sensible adults, instead this points to people doing shady business behind closed doors. 

    The Trust should be proud of themselves and their work. They should put themselves out in the public so everyone can support them and carry their message. By taking the talks behind closed doors, we cannot help their mission, and their mission becomes questionable. Not only for this development but for future developments.  


  3. Anonymous says:

    Ah. So now it becomes apparent. If Alden does not see the inherent conflict regarding his Papa’s land then he is not fit to be Premier.

    If this was Mac, the howls of corruption and calls for resignation would be deafening.

    An absolute scandal.

    • And Another Ting says:

      They have only just begun, after fooling all de people

      with silken tongue and full of sweet meats, they only just begun

      to show their true and honest colors and one really has to wonder

      what did they give us to eat and drink, they have only just begun.

  4. SKEPTICAL says:

    Who, apart from the mega-wealthy,  would see Cayman as a place to retire. The cost of living is at least twice that of the US – and there are so many cheaper countries in Central America which offer good, reasonably priced,  beach front properties. And the mega-wealthy retiree is not going to be interested in a golf course community in the middle of nowhere, miles away from the upmarket restaurants and bars of West Bay Road, and Caymana Bay. The whole concept does not even start to pass any worthwhile " sniff test '.

    • Anonymous says:

      . . .and if you buy a condo, you will wind up paying all the costs of neighbors who are of the entitlement culture here.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why is it anything done through or with the Caymanian Government is so messed up?  Is it because there is no one to stop them?


  6. MC says:

    Clearly this is why this party politics has to go. Each new premier that gets in try to make a name for themselves at the detrament  of our fragile environment, our future generations and the fabric of our community. Doesn't matter who gets in power, they all try to out do the last administration.

    look what happened to poor minister Archer.  Was a good guy and look at his recent behavior.  This is unacceptable and the people of these islands should have a referendum to remove those that are against the people of this God fearing country.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CNS for your tenacity! Keep up the good work unearthing whatever smells like corruption and exposing it. God bless you for keeping us enlightened.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It is really sad to watch the way successive Caymanian politicians behave. Greed is a bad thing and we the people and future generations are being robbed of our birthright, seemingly by those who should be protecting it. These islands are fast going down the drain all in the name of greed. Have y'all noticed that while the rich are purchasing $13K residences here many are quietly selling and leaving? Signs of the times bo bo. Signs of the times.

    • Anonymous says:

      Greed and ego.  The two biggest problems when locals gets power.

      • Anonymous says:

        So who should have power? Perhaps we can outsource it to Azerbaijan? I don't normally buy neocolonialism but your statement is so assfomas it can have no other label.

  9. What the Duck says:

    PPP – Private I win, Public you lose Partnership

    "The developers have said the mixed used retirement community, resort and golf course is contingent on the road".

    "the deal commits government to undertaking the necessary business case studies and analysis with a view to a PPP"    And what if the case study result is negative?

    • Anonymous says:

      what if it is negative????…yep…no jobs and food for Caymanians!!! Please do not be silly folks…we need inward investment or we will be back to planting cassava and botlers!

      • Anonymous says:

        You are an idiot 18:17. By the way, I still plant cassava and botlers and enjoy them too.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Alden messing up again! Not looking good for 2017 bobo lol

  11. Anonymous says:

    These developers are either mad – or good strategists (or believe its still 1980s Cayman)

    I assume that their starting position is that the road has to be built, can't be re-routed (to avoid the Mastic) – so that we are distracted away from the real issue and will instead be appeased when they give in, 'compromise' and allow the road to be re-routed to avoid the Mastic ….

    The real issue however is that this road should not be built at all! And what we should be campaigning for is NO IRONWOOD ROAD. 

    Yes build the road to the Shetty Hospital – that one is justified – however there can be no way to justify the buidling of this $40 million road extension to the Ironwood Development (out of our the Caymanian people's pockets). 

    The road is not needed! Its a complete joke. If you look at a map of where the Shetty east-west arterial extension will go – and the location of Ironwood Development (beside the Botanic Park, off Frank Sound Rd) – it is clear this other road is not needed. Especially at a price of $40million out of our pockets – and the destruction of natural environment and particularly our unqiue ancient dry forest The Mastic. 

    Why are the Government not talking about the road extension to the Shetty Hospital? That is clearly the development which will yield the far greater economic benefit to the country and is also a certainty – unlike this fishy sounding inland golf course, that must destroy the Mastic, and that is being lead by people who have already pulled a fast one this country and left us paying the bill!  

    The developers of Ironwood, the Moffits, are the same people that own MC Restoration that screwed us over after Ivan. Why can't we learn!? And be selective and discerning with the types of developments and developers we allow in to this Island. 

    • Anonymous says:

      If you look back at the press reports about MC Restoration, you will find that the Auditor General's final report on the matter concluded that the public got good value for money from this contract and they removed far more debris than they were contracted (or paid) to do.  Remembering the absolute mess that was Cayman after Ivan, I am grateful that someone jumped in and organised the clean-up effort, or we would still be tripping over piles of garbage.


  12. Anonymous says:

    It is not just about not beiong corrupt, it is about not giving the appearance of corruption too.

  13. SKEPTICAL says:

    What on Earth are the demographics that suggest this Ironwood development is a viable proposition. It has all the smoke and mirrors aspects of a similar proposal for a golf course development between Prospect and Spotts thirty odd years ago, fronted by a well known  former local politician which, in retrospect, merely provided an opportunity to excavate and sell huge amounts of marl as fill for other projects – the original idea never came to fruition.

  14. NOT A TREE HUGGER says:

    This issue alone could sound the "death knell " of Alden's premiership. We thought that with the removal of the last premier, we would no longer see this sort of unilateral decision making – it seems we were wrong. Any more issues like this and we will be back to  – " would the last person to leave please roll up the carpets, and turn off the lights ".

    • Anonymous says:

      What is that saying again?…..Do the same thing over and over but expect different results?!!! Oh yeah, we call that crazy, but hey, that is what our electors do!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    “mixed used retirement community, resort and golf course”.

    There is no market for this type of development in the Midland East. Not at prices that will pay for it.

    Something else is afoot and it can’t be altogether good. Like the massive excavation works that have been going on across from Lovers Wall. Where a harbour was mooted. But is really a quarry.

    The Premier is selling us down the proverbial garden path.

  16. Anonymous says:

    WTF is ppm doing they did not learn a thing from last time. One term again

  17. Road Warrior says:

    So we need work for NRA to pay for services and wages of staff but PPM did not negotiate or involve them to do the work in the building of road, how are we supposed to trust this lot? The secret MOU the Premier rushed to sign is precisely the sort of stunt that the UDP would try to get away with. Who are we supposed to trust when they are all as bad as each other? Thank you sweet baby Jesus for the FFR because negotiating deals in Cayman's best interests is not a strength of this government either.

  18. M.L. Hays says:

    MC Restoration fiasco anyone? Who got left holding the bag on that one? The taxpayer.

    These politicians have worse memories and are even more gullible than their voters.

    • C. Brown says:

      I agree with you, Mr. Hays, but it is questionable as to whether the pols or the voters are the most gullible.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Isn't PPM supposed to be about transparency?

    Why would it take an FOI request to get this information.

    What a mess.

  20. Anonymous says:

    "…government signed at a cocktail party…"


    Hmmmmm, so much for due process and transparancy. It seems that ya gotta follow the money to find out what is happening.

  21. Anonymous says:

    This is fast looking like another WB road deal. 

    It seems the developer is not happy enough to destroy all his real Ironwood trees for a golf course in his "Ironwood" development but he also needs to destroy what little we, through the National Trust, have been able to preserve for future generations as well. Sick and twisted.

    It also seems that yet another Premier is letting us down by signing documents without communication/input from the NRA, DOE, land owners and then not wanting to show the public.  Can someone file a case ASAP so we don't end up hearing yet another judge say we are "out of time" one more time?