Full Dart deal exposed
(CNS): The deal government and the NRA have signed with Dart is a stand-alone agreement for which the review period for any changes or for either party to pull out appears to have passed, even though the review by an independent auditor has not been made public. MLA Ezzard Miller has now revealed to the public via CNS (posted below) the full document after he received the agreement in the post from an unknown concerned citizen. Despite comments by the premier that it should not be in the public domain, the North Side representative said everyone should have an opportunity to see this deal, which raises significant concerns for the Caymanian people.
Miller has made it clear that he thinks this is a bad deal and judging by the comments on the CNS site this week after some of the details of the deal were posted on Monday, so does a significant portion of the Cayman public. More than 255 comments were posted on the story regarding the fact that government has agreed to give Dart 50% of the tax revenues not only on newly developed or renovated hotels and tourist accommodation but also on any hotels that Dart might buy. This concession threatens existing revenue streams to government as well as reducing potential new ones.
Aside from what Miller describes as excessive concessions and waivers, the North Side MLA also has concerns about the plans for the Esterley Tibbetts Highway Extension, which he says will not be a highway after all, as it appears that there will be numerous roundabouts and exit-entrance ramps along the road. The deal allows Dart to place roundabouts on the road every 1,320 feet and entrance-exits every 600 feet, giving the developer access to land it owns. Miller said that, in effect, this means the Esterley Tibbetts is just another regular road and not the highway originally gazetted by the NRA to carry traffic quickly from George Town to West Bay.
He further pointed out that a section of the road is being raised as a bridge that will allow for canals, which, it seems, the Dart Group intends to develop through to the back of the new boutique five-star hotel it intends to build at the Courtyard Marriott site.
“I sincerely hope that Dart does not intend to cut canals all the way through to Seven Mile Beach but even cutting a canal that close to the beach will leave West Bay hanging like a thread to the rest of Grand Cayman,” the MLA stated as he warned about what that could mean during a severe storm.
While the details of the plans regarding the road and the canals are of significant concern, Miller is mostly concerned about the deal itself, which he says is extremely bad for Cayman as the development it is meant to encourage will offer no benefit to the Caymanian people other than trickle down at best.
He said the review period in the agreement ended on 31 March, which is more than three months ago, and this means that the Cayman government may now have no chance to extricate itself from what Miller said was a terrible deal. He said he was concerned about how long it has taken for the review of the agreement by independent auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers, which was meant to be finished before March to be published.
The delay in the publication of this independent review of the deal may mean that no alterations can now be made to what Miller believes is a “bad, bad, bad deal for Cayman but a very good one" for the Dart Group.
“The one thing that the UDP government has proven since it came to office is that selling out the Cayman Islands and giving away massive concessions is not the answer to turning the economy around,” Miller said in answer to Bush’s criticisms that he has no solutions. “Creating jobs in the Cayman Islands is not the problem; we have more than 20,000 of them held by work permit holders. It is the decapitation of Mr Entrepreneur which is the problem caused by allowing large conglomerates to wipe out Caymanian small businesses, which are the life blood of our economy.”
The independent MLA pointed to the massive fees and tax increases that have hit small local businesses while large wealthy investors are handed major concessions. The UDP government, he said, had increased the cost of doing business and the cost of borrowing money and it was polices to address these fundamental problems that were needed, not massive waivers to major corporations.
See full Dart Agreement below.
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|Dart deal 1-10.PDF||925.53 KB|
|Dart deal 11-20.PDF||978.42 KB|
|Dart deal 21-30.PDF||863.1 KB|
|Dart deal 31-40.PDF||829.01 KB|
|Dart deal 41-54.PDF||1.14 MB|
|Dart deal plans.PDF||1.32 MB|
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