Richardson chides government for “back and forth”

POSTED: 01/20/12 12:53 PM

St. Maarten – Independent Member of Parliament Frans Richardson has called for an end to the “back and forth” on important properties like Emilio Wilson Estate and Mary’s Fancy Plantation. Both sites have historic value and conservation organizations have been pressing successive governments to do more. Richardson used the opportunity of a general public meeting on Thursday to also stress the need for clarity.
“We must protect some of our most important properties by either purchasing it or protecting while allowing the owners to benefit from it. We must find a solution to protect our monuments. Government must put an end to the back and forth. I am really tired of the back and forth,” Richardson said before asking if the purchase of Mary’s Fancy is a priority.

In reply Heyliger announced meetings have been held with the owners of Emilio Wilson Estate to discuss the purchase of 50 percent of the property that would not be developed as part of Eco Tour for which Rainforest Adventures has requested a permit. The owners have agreed to the sale and Heyliger hopes to conclude the discussions in 2012.

In terms of Mary’s Fancy Heyliger said discussions continue with the present owner over relocation for her and the many dogs on the property. That has left government with a major challenge of where to put them. Even if an alternative is found the government would have to find the money to make the actual purchase.
“There is still the idea to try and come to a conclusion on that one, but the biggest obstacle is where to put all these dogs,” Heyliger said.

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