New government administration building: the next chapter – PM signed payment order for completion a year ago

POSTED: 10/18/12 12:35 PM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams signed an advice to make the payment necessary for finishing the interior works of the new government building on Pond Island “approximately a year ago,” she said yesterday at the weekly press briefing. But so far, the work has not started yet.
Wescot-Williams wrote that on the account of “the bureaucracy” and said that the completion works will now start at the beginning of next week. The year delay has cost the tax payer $1,924,000 in lease fees.
The solution for the building is a tripartite issue. All issues with developer RGM have to be solved before there can be an agreement with the American Continental Finance Corporation, the prime minister said.

Wescot-Williams reacted to the press conference RGM CEO Gerard d’Arcy gave last week, announcing that the developer will take the government to court to force it to finish the interior work on the building and to occupy it. since the last quarter of 2007, the government has paid $9.1 million in lease fees for the building it has up to this point never used.
“It is not my style to come out swinging left and right,” Wescot-Williams said. “The matter that I have spoken about for months – finishing the interior works of the building – is a project to be financed by the government. I affixed my signature to the advice to make that payment approximately a year ago.”
The prime minister said that finishing the building has so far been “a frustrating process.” She said that RGM now demands in a lawsuit that the government lives up to the development contract. “We signed that contract and the government is paying the lease fee for the building. RGM is now requesting that we occupy the building.”

The court case of RGM against the government is scheduled for twelve days from now, on Tuesday October 30.
A point that RGM did not mention in its press conference is that the government asked the developer to also comply with its side of the bargain, Wescot-Williams said. “The building had some deficiencies that have led to leakages. It is RGN’s responsibility to correct these deficiencies. We met two weeks ago and they will present a plan to address these issues.”
RGM CEO d’Arcy said last week that the government has been in negotiations with American Continental Finance Corporation for a year. Wescot-Williams did not comment on that, but said that there is no set date for the conclusion of these negotiations.
According to d’Arcy, American Continental is interested in buying RGM out and taking over its responsibilities.

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