Work halted at Marion Jones because of non-payment
One month ago Minister of Sports Herman Longsworth told News Five that the Marion Jones Sporting Complex was close to completion. That’s a story we had certainly heard before, multiple times, so we pushed him on it. He told us then that he had told the contractors that if the Cross Country Cycling Classic did not finish at the Marion Jones, they would have to pack up and go home. Long story short, the sporting complex is not complete, the Cross Country will not finish there and no, the contractors will not be sent home. There has actually been no work done on the facility in the past weeks, but that’s not the contractors’ fault. Longsworth says government is to blame.
Herman Longsworth, Minister of Sports
“To a large extent this recent pause, if you will, to a large extent is government’s fault. It’s all the budget cycle business, the system close and takes time to get money out and there was a delay in a payment. In fact, I don’t think it has been paid as yet, it’s probably going to be paid this week, and so the contractors are waiting for a payment and so it’s a delay on government’s part. But I believe that even with that the areas that we needed to be finished for Cross Country may very well…I think the contractor that is finishing up the bleachers should have most of the bleachers sitting in his yard, it’s just a matter of installing them now. So they may very well still be close to doing it. But government will have to take the blame for this most recent delay, which was money that had been delayed. The payment still hasn’t been made. I just got a call today asking me what’s happening with it and I had to check on it, and my C.E.O. is checking to find out where the payment is as we speak.”
“Cross Country is next week…”
“It won’t finish in the Marion Jones, but we had also not been so concerned because the Cycling Association had communicated to us that they would not really have needed the facility because Princess Margaret Drive is so bad that they can’t come on there, so they have rescheduled the route through Freetown Road or something like that to go on to Marine Parade, so they wouldn’t have been able to reach there anyhow. So we hadn’t been too concerned about it, otherwise we would have had to be putting on the pressure. But like I said, this delay has been government’s delay, because we haven’t made the payment.”