TUESDAY, OCT. 2: I listened to the Premier’s announcement about the Morgan’s Point cleanup last night with great interest, but a certain sense of bemusement. It is a very tangled tale.

This deal has been in the pipeline since 2007.  In April 2008, Government and the Southlands group signed a non-binding agreement. 

Nearly two years later, the Southlands people accused then Premier Ewart Brown of repeatedly stalling the project. 

On September 13, 2010, Government and the Southlands group signed a second agreement to get the Morgan’s Point project completed over a period of 20 years. 

In December, 2011, Junior Works Minister Vince Ingham told the Senate the clean-up would begin in April and would cost $35 or $36 million.

In March of 2012, the House heard during the Budget debate that the clean-up was expected to cost $38 million.  The Southlands group said that figure was inflated, however.  The cleanup should cost $20 to $25 million, they said.

In March, 2012, the Premier announced that remediation work would begin in April.  According to the Royal Gazette, the Government did start remediation work at Morgan’s Point, but must have stopped at some time between now and then.

In June, 2012, Government and the developers signed a third agreement, described as “final”.

Now, in October of 2012, an election is looming and people are out of work.

The Premier announces, once again, that work is starting.  Some 40 unemployed Bermudians will be given work, she says.  We sincerely hope that comes to pass.  She mentions a figure of $20 million, which she says is the cost of cleaning up Bassett’s Cave.

The whole thing sounds a bit like the plot of a Three Stooges film.

Will work start next week as scheduled?  Will it be completed on time?

I will make no predictions.

What I will predict, though, is that we are going to hear a flurry of announcements about wonderful projects that are going to put Bermuda back to work and solve all our problems between now and polling day, whenever that is going to be.

I would advise the public to take them all with a big grain of salt.

The Government does set a hot pace in this area.  There were umpteen announcements made, for example, about the start of the Park Hyatt project in St George’s.  They even blew the place up to give a sense of forward motion.  But nothing ever happened.