The numbers… for the St. Maarten Government building on Pond Island

POSTED: 07/4/14 12:38 AM

The numbers for the government administration building on Pond Island do not look good. Adding up all the numbers we have arrived at a total cost of $38.7 million – and that is an estimate.

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams said yesterday that the building has been appraised at a value that is twice the buy-out sum of $12.3 million. Give or take, that would put the value of this building at around $25 million – more than 35 percent below the cost of building and outfitting it.

There is another issue that won’t make voters happy: the fact that of the BOOT-fees the country paid since the last quarter of 2007 ($481,000 per quarter, for a total of close to $13 million) mostly consisted of interest charges – a shocking $9 million.

All that money has gone to waste. And we are not even talking about the condition the building is in right now – six years after developer RGM delivered the completed shell.

At the end of the day, all voters are able to do is sigh and move on. Nothing will bring any of that money back – it has just been one big waste. Over the years everybody and his uncle have been in government, so it is, as usual, almost impossible to point fingers. Unless you are a politician of course, they are good at this kind of thing.

Now voters are left to wonder what Prime Minister Wescot-Williams means with her wish to move into the building “as soon as possible.” It sounds good, but unfortunately it does not mean anything. Will civil servants trek to Pond Island by year’s end? That would be nice, but don’t count on it.

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