Theo Heyliger signs agreements for infrastructure, more inspectors

POSTED: 03/10/11 12:16 PM

St. Maarten – Minister of Housing, Physical Planning, Infrastructure and the Environment (VROMI) Theodore Heyliger signed two financing agreements with USONA on Wednesday for a combined total of 6.2 million guilders. The first project, valued at 5.7 million, is for work on Phase 1B and Phase 2 of improvements leading from the Kruythoff roundabout to the Tropicana Casino. The second project, valued at 500, 000 guilders is for the hiring of three new inspectors at management level to train existing staffers.

Work on the road leading from the Kruythoff Roundabout should begin in a month and last for six months. It includes the construction of drains, a new asphalt overlay and installing a sewer line. The latter part is financed from the government’s budget to the tune of 2 million guilders. The work for phase 1B will run from KFC in Cole Bay to Afoo Daily Extra and then Phase 2 will run into the area behind the Tropicana Casino so that the drains guide water into the Simpson Bay Lagoon.

Heyliger said he understands that the work will cause some inconvenience, but said government and the contractor had to plan things this way so they could complete the majority of the work in the period between the slowdown in tourism arrivals and the start of the hurricane season.
“We hope to be ready for 90 percent by the time the hurricane season is here,” Heyliger said.
The second agreement will allow for the Inspectorate in VROMI to grow from four to seven, just two short of the nine it should have. There are currently four inspectors in three main areas. One handles environmental offenses, another handles inspections on buildings and two are charged with safety inspections. Each area will get one new inspector, who will then share their skills.
“The people we hire will be experienced and they will come in full force to work and to train the existing employees,” Head of Inspection in the Ministry of VROMI Henry Ellis said.

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