The Stage in the Sea set up for the recent Tobago Carnival cost the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) almost $2 million
The figures were produced by Secretary for Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development Trevor James during a sitting of the Assembly on Thursday.
The stage, which is located on the Scarborough Waterfront, was constructed as a picture-taking location for masqueraders and onlookers during the recently held Tobago Carnival from October 28-30.
Confirming the cost and contractor, James said,” The contract was awarded for $1,758,350 contingency included.”
The contractor was Shuffle Equipment Rental.
However, before doing so, he defended the project.
“We created in the region a Carnival product that was never seen, where people were actually able to enjoy the festivities over the water, it has never been done in the region,” he said.
However, Minority Leader Kelvon Morris questioned whether the stage was worth the spend.
“I was wondering, 1.7 million dollars for a day to see rocks wash away in the sea, people cannot eat, people cannot get food, is this the best use of Tobago taxpayers’ money?” Morris asked.
However, James said his degree was in Project Management, not Economics.
“I do not know whether an overall expenditure of 1.7 million dollars is counter-productive to the development of Tobago or whether that being assigned somewhere else would change the social problem that we have,” he said.
In the lead-up to the Carnival, there was some controversy surrounding the construction of the stage.
Days before the event, the THA had not received approval from the Environmental Management Authority.