The People’s United Party has condemned the Government’s decision to sell the fire station headquarters without having a proper replacement in place. The property was sold for two point eight million dollars to Atlantic Bank Limited. When our newsroom asked the Government’s Financial Secretary why a new building was not secured prior to the sale, he noted that the sales’ proceeds were needed to construct a new headquarters. PUP’s Julius Espat says it is a ridiculous move by the Government.
Julius Espat, Area Representative, Cayo South: “It’s not the value of the sale it’s that you’re selling something and you don’t have a replacement immediately when it’s an emergency use that’s the concern I have.
Reporter: The FinSec said yesterday said it’s a chicken and egg situation because they needed the money to even begin.
Julius Espat, Area Representative, Cayo South: “Which come first the chicken or the egg? I’m not sure when he’s talking so I’m not really sure.”
Reporter: He said they had to sell it first so they could have money.
Julius Espat, Area Representative, Cayo South: “No no. That is rhetoric. I want to know what happens if a fire happens right now where will they come out from. Where are they going to go rent ?”
Reporter: They haven’t found anywhere.
Julius Espat, Area Representative, Cayo South: “Exactly so how can you make a decision without having plans laid out as to what is phase one, phase two, phase three ?”
Reporter: But looking at the raw economics of it as someone who, I know you’re not a realtor but you deal in the business of property development, would you say that $2.8 million is a fair value?
Julius Espat, Area Representative, Cayo South: “I think it’s market value I don’t have anything negative to say about the value. I have a problem with the timing which it’s being done because again it opens your eyes – why are you selling something right now when you’re two to three weeks before an election it makes me get like my hairs raise you understand me ? So the timing and that you are not planning. You are saying that you’re selling this thing to get a little cheese so that you could eventually build the building, an election is coming when you don’t know when it’s coming so what will happen in that to build a building of that type you’re talking eighteen months before you start, a year before you design so you’re talking two and a half years before the building will even function what happens in the mean time ? So the $2.8 million is not only to build the new building what will happen with that two and a half years of rental ? Two and a half years of rental so where will they go ? In a parking lot to park the poor fire station ? It’s the planning that’s important. You want to achieve something so why you couldn’t break a deal with Atlantic Bank and say “Boss give me the money without interest let me build my fire station and then we will end up giving you the property when it’s done.” why could that not have been done. Atlantic Bank will still get the property, you would have a fire station that the little red truck moves out of this one and moves into that one, people would understand there’s a transition that’s proper negotiation. So don’t tell me about this chicken and egg because I’m not too with that.”
Plans for a new fire station headquarters are reportedly underway.