Dutch Quarter upgrade has again priorityPOSTED: 12/3/15 5:54 PM
St. Maarten – On June 2012 current Prime Minister William Marlin, then minister of Vromi. promised Dutch Quarter that the district would be “brand new” by the end of 2014. Why nothing happened? “The wrong people were in government,” Marlin said at yesterday’s Council of Ministers press briefing. “Right now, this project has priority again.”
St. Maarten secured in 2012 funding from the tenth European Development fund for the upgrade of the district that includes an upgraded sewage system, a new road, streetlights and a 1000 cubic meter large water storage tank.
The European funding ads up to $6.1 million, while St. Maarten has to contribute $2.25 million to the project. The European funds remain available up to four years after the signing of the financing agreement.
Marlin announced on June 6, 2012 that the agreement had been signed but in reality, those signatures only came one-and-a-half year later, on December 5, 2013.
According to the press department for International Cooperation and Development at the European Union the finding will therefore remain available until December 5, 2017. In March of this year, the spokesman for the press department made the following statement:
“In accordance with the financing agreement that was signed on December 5, 2013, the financial resources became available to Sint Maarten and the implementation of a project on sewerage was initiated. Sint Maarten will contribute €1.73 million. The initial procurement has experienced delays, which however have been rectified by the government of Sint Maarten, bringing the implementation of the project back on track.”
The spokesman furthermore presented a new deadline: the contract notice for the project has been published. “The deadline for receiving bids is March 30, 2015.”
That deadline is long gone, but, as Prime Minister Marlin said yesterday, the project has now once again become a priority. Dutch Quarter residents will believe that when they see it.