Millions in European funds for Dutch Quarter upgrade

POSTED: 12/11/13 6:51 PM

St. Maarten – The tenth European Development Fund will make €4,750,000 ($6,507,500) available for infrastructural upgrades in Dutch Quarter, the cabinet of Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams announced in a press statement yesterday.

Wescot-Williams – the territorial authorizing officer for the development fund – signed the agreement in Brussels last Friday. The press statement notes that the prime minister engaged in “wide scale negotiations” with the European Union but offered no further details.

St. Maarten expects now “to manage its own execution of the tenth development fund,” Wescot-Williams stated. “The management structure that will be put in place is a critical component to ensure that the project is executed within the parameters and guidelines of European funding.”

Wescot-Williams added that “there is still much work to be done before the actual work on the project for Dutch Quarter can begin, but securing the funding before the end of 2013 is a major accomplishment, especially given the difficulties which have previously existed between Usona and the European Union. This is very important news for the development of Dutch Quarter and for St. Maarten in general.”

The press release quotes an unidentified Dutch Quarter “community representative” who expressed satisfaction about the news:   “We would like to thank the prime minister and the government for negotiating with the European Union so that our district will receive the necessary upgrades. It is good to see that our district, which is seen as one of the most challenged ones on St. Maarten, will see the necessary infrastructural upgrades we so very much need.”

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