PHILIPSBURG: --- Residents of the Dutch Quarter held a meeting a week ago to discuss the Dutch Quarter road project that remains stagnant for the past two years.
It is understood that the contractor VAN Boekel BV was underbid for the project thus the project could not be completed which also led to a court case.
Late 2019 during the election campaign former head of Maintenance of VROMI and now suspended Member of Parliament Claudius Buncamper ensured Dutch Quarter Road was slightly paved in order to fill in the holes on the road, since then the project remained at standstill with sewage water plaguing the residents in that area.
Two years after taking office the Minister of VROMI Egbert Jurendy Doran has not brought forth any solutions that would lead to the finalization of the Dutch Quarter Road project that includes the upgrade of the sewage lines.
On Wednesday at the Council of Minister's press conference, SMN News asked the acting Minister of VROMI who exactly is managing the fines issued to Windward Roads for their involvement in the Larimar corruption case and why didn’t the government of St. Maarten utilize the NAF2M made available through a fine given to Windward Roads. Acting Minister of VROMI Ardwell Irion in his response said that just last week he called a meeting with the Ministry of VROMI and General Affairs to find a solution to the Dutch Quarter Road project and he also mentioned the use of Windward Roads and the Naf.2M fine.
SMN News learned that the Ministry of VROMI already sought a meeting with the Prosecutor’s Office in order to utilize the Windward Roads to finalize the project, but no immediate decision was taken by the prosecution on the execution or even green light on using the fines for this project.
Irion said that VROMI was busy working on projects designated for other areas, he said the fines issued to Windward Roads are supposed to be used for at least 4 different sewage projects.
The acting Minister and Minister of Finance said the Dutch Quarter project has the attention of the government and they are indeed trying to find a financial solution. He said prior to his intervention the Ministry of VROMI and General Affairs were busy working on solutions. He said the aim is to find funding to finalize the project which he termed an unfortunate situation.