HM Customs’ $2.1 million mobile x-ray scanning unit is finally getting some shelter from the elements.
After more than six years of setbacks and delays, the final hurdle has been cleared. Now, the new mobile x-ray facility, HM Customs’ first new building in 23 years, will become a reality.
“This project has been on the drawing board for quite some time now,” said Finance Minister Marco Archer.
Before dignitaries ceremonially turned the first dirt on customs new x-ray facility, he detailed the long and bumpy road the project took from its inception in 2009 to Thursday’s groundbreaking.
In 2012 customs acquired the mobile x-ray scanner truck, and plans were made for a building to house it when not in use, but budgetary constraints shelved those plans.
“The acquisition cost was $2.1 million, so you know, once you hear that you begin to understand how important it is to protect an asset that is that valuable,” said Collector of Customs Charles Clifford.
By mid-2014 it appeared the project was once again good to go, but adversity reared its ugly head. A so-called administrative hurdle took two ministries, the port authority, and customs to resolve.
“In short, ladies and gentlemen, it was the transfer of the property that we are now about to break ground on from the port authority to the Cayman Islands government, to the customs department,” explained Minister Archer.
“This is certainly a significant milestone with this project,” said Mr. Clifford, who told Cayman 27 in addition to housing the mobile x-ray truck, the building will house staff from the Freight Security Initiative and the Container Processing and Inspections Unit.
Mr. Clifford said he expects the construction period to take about ten to twelve months.