St. Maarten Government commits to master plan despite lack of funding

POSTED: 06/13/11 1:03 PM

St. Maarten – The Government of St. Maarten has committed to completing the Master plan detention system, but they do not currently have all the funds to do so. Members of Parliament were informed of this on Friday when St. Maarten Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto answered their questions posed on June 6.

Completing all the upgrades in the plan, which focuses on the Pointe Blanche prison, will cost 8 million guilders, but the government has 6, 661, 179.91. The available funding is from two financing agreements, the government has with USONA. The first financing agreement (2, 517, 401.91) was signed Justice Minister of the Netherlands Antilles Magali Jacoba and the second, signed by Justice Minister Roland Duncan 4, 143,778.

“We intend to use the mentioned reserved funds to carry out as much repairs and upgrading as possible. Estimated time of repairs is 18 months. We shall in the meantime seek to acquire the remaining funds to complete the repairs and upgrading,” Shigemoto said.

No date was given for the start of the repairs. Minister Duncan has linked it to the completion of the police detention cells in Simpson Bay. The plan is to house 30 prisoners at a time there, while sections of the prison are being repaired. Duncan is also in discussion with the owners of “The Box” in Cay Hill in order to convert that building into a multi-functional detention center.


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