Minister Lake awards Sucker Garden youth contract to clean own neighborhood

POSTED: 07/3/13 12:09 PM

Cleaning ServicesCMYK

Minister Lake (l) meets with Arrindell Gumbs of Garden Boyz Cleaning Services, awarding the group the contract to clean the neighborhood trenches while other members look on in the background. Photo Today/Leo Brown

St. Maarten – Sticking to his theme of “taking it back to basics,” as he put it, the Minister of Infrastructure, Maurice Lake, said yesterday he wanted “to show our youth that they can take care of their community themselves. Together we can make a difference.” The minister met with Garden Boyz Cleaning Services by the bridge leading to the Keys in Sucker Garden, handing over responsibility for the clearing of the trenches and drains in the neighborhood, granting the district’s own youth the contract to do so.

It is one of many such initiatives Minister Lake and his team have in store for the various districts and neighborhoods of St. Maarten, where residents, in particular young men, will take an active part in the upkeep and maintenance of the area in which they live. Lake said they were “still getting the budgets organized” in order to make the work more permanent for the young men.

“We are trying to get a 2 year contract to give them more security,” said Head of Maintenance at Public Works, Claudius “Toontje” Buncamper. With longer contracts they can go for loans at the bank he added. It’s a 23 month long government initiative aimed at cleaning all the trenches in the various districts of the island Buncamper told the press. “The whole program is based on getting youngsters back to work.” The ministry is “trying their best in putting a sense of pride back in the neighborhood,” along with “bringing discipline back.” Buncamper said such work would be given out to the youth especially in preparation for the upcoming hurricane season.

Arrindell Gumbs of Garden Boyz Cleaning Services thanked the minister and his team “for giving us this chance. We appreciate it and looking forward to many more.”

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