Local Orient Beach tenants protest with road blackPOSTED: 03/10/16 7:11 PM
St. Martin News – Traffic on the Rue du Griselle in Mount Vernon came to an standstill early yesterday morning near the Cadisco gas station after disgruntled local tenants of the new outlets on Orient Beach blocked the road with a car wreck and a bunch of old pallets. Last night around 7 p.m. the road block was still in place and the gendarmerie sent traffic coming from the direction of Grand Case back to where they came from at the roundabout near Hope Estate.
Motorists either turned around to make their way towards the Dutch side through Marigot, while others waited relaxed for the situation to dissolve.
The tenants said in a pamphlet they handed out to waiting motorists that the Collectivité ought to complete the unfinished work to their so-called carbets or allow the tenants to deduct the costs from their rents. The tenants estimate that each of the quaint beach-side business cabins needs at leads €20,000 worth of work.
The tenants’ first complaint is about the deck in front of their businesses. If offers no protection against the sun, the sand or the rain. The tenants demand that the deck be covered. The average cost of the tarp that the Collectivité should have used to provide this coverage is €2,800, the tenants say.
Another complaint concerns the kitchens. “We have always been required to have an emergency shut-off switch for gas and electricity, a floor drain in the kitchen and a grease pit,” the tenants say. All this is missing. The roof of the cabins is made of sheetrock. This has forced the tenants to hire a carpenter to reinforce the roof so that it is able to support a standard exhaust fan. “If, as the Collectivité says, the kitchens are in conformity with the required norms, we would like a document that states this,” the tenants say.
Furthermore, the tenants maintain their objections against the rent of 2,200 per month for the whole year. They want a lower rent for the low season and they want the Collectivité to consider that the businesses are only open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. – and not in the evening.
Reacting to a story that others would be prepared to pay 3,000 per month, the tenants say, “We dare to ask what type of businesses they plan to bring to our beaches.”
The local tenants furthermore demand a delay in the payment of their rent to October 1 of this year, since the Collectivité grants this treatment to tenants from the Métropole.
Other demands are an extension of the current three-year contract to five years.
Watersports operator Rollin Glascow is still waiting to be relocated. “This gentleman has serious challenges and cannot be in constant bickering with the concessionaires of Le String,” the pamphlet of the local tenant states.
The tenants furthermore demand that the Collectivité keep the road on the Club Orient side graded, that it cleans the beach and, most of all, and that it brings in someone to enforce regulations on the beach.
“Boutiques and watersports cannot be selling food and alcohol and renting chairs,” the tenants state in their pamphlet.
According to an inventory made by the tenants, the location has gone from 16 to 25 businesses on the same stretch of beach. Before the reconstruction effort, there were eight restaurants, two watersports companies and six stores selling clothes. Now there are eight restaurants, three watersports companies, four boutiques and ten small concession stands.
“There are still independent vendors walking up and down the beach. Someone has to be meticulous to keep order,” the local tenants complain.