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Construction firms, Builders and Trenching Contractors must be Prepared & have Storm-Ready Plans.

PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- The Ministry of General Affairs Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management (ODM), is appealing to the building sector, to have storm-ready plans in place for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
Construction activities, trenching, and excavation works, are taking place throughout the country, and at building and construction sites, materials and debris laying around could pose a threat in the event of a storm/hurricane threat to the nation.
It has already been forecast that the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season will be a busy one. So far, five named storms have already formed for the season.
Contractors and builders must have a plan in place to secure building sites before a storm/hurricane strike. This is also applicable to trenching and excavation contractors and ODM calls on the sector to review their plans today on how they would secure their building and excavation sites in the event of a storm/hurricane threat.
Building sites must be storm-ready within a 48-hour period before the arrival of a storm/hurricane.
Contractors, trench/excavation works, and home builders during severe weather are responsible for securing building sites for the protection of the public, and property.
Materials such as plywood, shingles, zinc, and other construction materials could become flying missiles capable of impaling zinc roofs, windows, or anything in its way.
Construction debris can cause severe damage to property and lead to possible loss of life. Every construction site supervisor and/or foreman is advised to review their annual hurricane season plan with respect to what action they will be taking at their building site whether it’s a small, medium, or large house, or commercial enterprise project.
As a rule, all building and trench worksites should be kept organized and clean. Arrange timely pick up of trash (discarded old zinc, wood etc.) dumpsters, and only keep materials on site you will utilize during any given week especially bearing in mind that we are in the hurricane season and keep construction equipment secure.
All businesses should also see to it that their premises are kept clean of any debris as part of a preventative approach.
Any planned supply deliveries should be postponed if there is a storm/hurricane threat to the island within a 48-hour period.
When a tropical storm or hurricane watch is issued 48-hours before a system is forecast to hit, remove all scaffolding, and remove, or safely secure, all building materials and equipment.
Sub-contractors should also be alerted to their responsibilities as well with respect to securing or removing their materials and equipment.
Stop job processes that will likely become damaged by the storm/hurricane, such as window installations, house wrap, or landscaping. Complete those tasks that will likely prevent damage, such as concrete work, closing in a house, or filling in foundation excavations.
Follow through with a quick inspection of your building site once a tropical storm/hurricane watch has been issued for the country. Do not wait until the last minute to inspect your job site, as you will need that time to go home and secure your own family dwelling. Employees will also need time to do the same to make their final storm/hurricane-ready preparations.
Once the storm/hurricane is over and the All Clear has been given by the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) headed by the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, you may return to the building site for damage assessment and inspection.
For general information about preparing prior to a storm/hurricane strike, visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”
Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during, and after a hurricane.
For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com or visit their social media page Facebook.com/sxmweather/


200 students and faculty of American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine participate in Community Action Day.

auc29072021PHILIPSBURG:--- The American University of the Caribbean (AUC) is proud to announce that more than 200 students and faculty participated in Community Action Day (CAD) last
weekend, during which medical school students participated in volunteer activities and events to support and give back to the Sint Maarten community.
This year’s event marked the first in-person CAD since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students participated in events such as packing food with
the K-1 Britannia Foundation, re-launching the Body SMAART program with the Philipsburg Jubilee Library, leading youth activities, and assisting the AIDS Foundation of Sint Maarten with HIV testing.
“I am honored to have coordinated this year’s Community Action Day in an effort to re-engage with the Sint Maarten community after a year-long disruption due to the pandemic,” said Natalie Humphrey, Ph.D., CEAP, the new Assistant Dean of Community Engagement for AUC. “We are so thankful to Sint Maarten for embracing our students, and we look forward to giving back in a meaningful way through other similar events in the future.” Humphrey
added, “The students have a passion for service to others and were so thrilled to give back to these organizations and connect with the people of Sint Maarten.”

 

Land or property tax for who all exactly?

cbuncamper04022021PHILIPSBURG:---  Member of Parliament Claudius Buncamper is questioning who the suggested property tax will apply to. This quarry comes at the heels of the presentation in Parliament by CFT which stated that Property Tax should be implemented in St. Maarten. “I was somewhat surprised at the hard stances several MP’s have already taken regarding the land tax or property tax issue. While the CFT stated clearly that the recommendation of the IMF to impose some sort of land or property tax is understandable, because of its consistency on the books, I strongly believe we need to put that in perspective and explain what is expected from such a tax”.

Buncamper suggests that it is necessary to understand whether it is the intention for the proposed property tax burden to be carried by the residence of St. Maarten who are already carrying all the tax burden on St. Maarten, or whether this time around, this tax burden will indeed be spread and the property or real estate tax will be used to tax those who are not contributing to the Government’s Treasury. The current situation is such that there are no restrictions for non-residents to own or purchase property, but this group does enjoy the
benefits that the Country provides. The consequences of this include the high cost of property which disadvantages the residents or locals, but that is a discussion for another time.
Member of Parliament Buncamper would like the Government to explore the possibility of imposing a real estate tax on non-residents so that they too contribute to the treasury. While this may seem discriminatory, it is positive for the country and the residents and finally allows the country to tap into a revenue source currently not being enjoyed. Buncamper states that such differentiation is applied in other countries, so there should be no issue.

“We don’t collect revenue from AIR BNB, and this for me is rather unclear, but we can create our own revenue source for this sector, as the properties cannot be hidden in an offshore account”. This may just be the solution says MP Buncamper, to still collect a tax from foreign-owned properties being rented and generating rental income on St. Maarten, while thus far none of that income remains on the island or at least does not reaching the government's coffers and as such does not help to pay the bills of the country. The MP states that in other countries all timeshare owners (in the USA for sure) pay property tax, so the concept is familiar and should not be a deterrent for wealthy foreign investors who want to own a little piece of paradise.

According to the USP Member of Parliament Claudius Buncamper, he clearly stated in July 7th meeting with the CFT, that he could not support land or property tax in its present form.
“We must bear in mind that having absolutely no property tax, land tax, or restrictions of any kind on foreign investors, causes the market price for the property to be driven by the buying
power of the wealthy foreign investors. The result is, that locals are unable to afford land in St. Maarten; are unable able to qualify for a mortgage to buy property (yes for a car of course) and as such have a very difficult time building wealth; own an asset for which the value can actually increase or which can be used as collateral to invest in other assets, and this is what contributes to the growing disparity in wealth, concludes Buncamper.
As a landowner, this law will not personally benefit me as it can drive the land prices down. My decision is based on the job I’m presently fulfilling; being a parliamentarian and placing
the country above myself. While many of us might dislike the authors/proposers of the tax proposals please remember that the money generated is for the country and not the authors of the law. I truly hope to see a land tax proposal in the tax reform proposal the Minister of Finance is coming with to parliament prior to the budget 2022 debate so we can ensure we are all looking and moving in
the right direction.
Monies raised from such taxation can easily remove the pensioner's payment of taxes and social premiums starting January 2022.

CCRIF Makes First Parametric Insurance Payouts of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season .

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands:--- Following Tropical Cyclone Elsa, CCRIF made two payouts to the Government of Barbados under the country’s tropical cyclone and excess rainfall parametric insurance policies, totaling US$2.5 million. CCRIF also made payments totaling US$528,512 to three other member governments – Haiti, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines – under the Aggregate Deductible Cover (ADC) feature of CCRIF’s tropical cyclone policies. Hurricane Elsa was the fifth tropical cyclone in the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Since the inception of CCRIF in 2007, the Facility has made 52 payouts totaling US$202.5 million to 16 of its 23 members, with the Government of Haiti receiving 4 payouts totaling US$38.3 million and the Government of Barbados receiving 7 payouts totaling US$21.8 million. These two countries have received about 30 per cent of CCRIF’s total payouts.

Parametric insurance that is offered by CCRIF is very different from traditional indemnity insurance. CCRIF’s parametric insurance products make payments based on the intensity of a natural hazard event (for example, hurricane wind speed, earthquake intensity, and volume of rainfall) and the exposure or assets affected by the event, and the amount of loss calculated in a pre-agreed model caused by the event. Thus, CCRIF does not need to wait for on-the-ground assessments of loss and damage – unlike with indemnity insurance – to make payouts, enabling the Facility to disburse funds to governments within 14 days of an event.

A CCRIF policy is therefore triggered based on the government loss estimated in the loss model, which in turn is based on the characteristics of the hazard – wind and storm urge for tropical cyclone policies and amount of rainfall for excess rainfall policies – and the vulnerability, distribution and exposure of government assets affected by the event.

A country’s policy is triggered when the modelled loss for a hazard event in a member country equals or exceeds the attachment point selected by the country and specified in the policy contract (similar to a deductible in a traditional insurance contract).

In 2017, CCRIF introduced a new feature, the Aggregated Deductible Cover (ADC), for tropical cyclone and earthquake policies. It was designed to provide a minimum payment for events that are not sufficient to trigger the CCRIF policy because the modeled loss is below the policy’s attachment point.

CCRIF’s risk models underpinning its policies are dynamic and innovative and are regularly updated to include new data or new developments in modeling. Empirical evidence based on studies undertaken by the World Bank illustrates that insurance obtained through CCRIF could be as low as half the cost of coverage a member country could obtain on its own.

CCRIF continues to demonstrate that catastrophe risk insurance can effectively provide a level of financial protection for countries vulnerable to natural disasters and is key to closing the insurance penetration gap. CCRIF represents a cost-effective way to pre-finance short-term liquidity to begin recovery efforts for an individual government after a catastrophic event, thereby filling the gap between immediate response aid and long-term redevelopment. Over the years, assessments have shown that about 3 million persons have benefitted from CCRIF payouts in the Caribbean and Central America. Use of payouts over the years has included providing food, shelter, and medicine for affected persons; stabilizing drinking water plants; providing building materials for persons to repair their homes; repairing critical infrastructures such as roads, bridges, and schools; and support for the agriculture sector, among others.

Although CCRIF acts as a security blanket for countries, it was not designed to cover all losses on the ground as a result of a catastrophe. It is instead meant to ensure that there is some measure of quick liquidity available to governments as additional resources are mobilized to assist with the longer-term recovery and redevelopment processes. CCRIF is therefore designed to provide quick liquidity to allow governments to support the most vulnerable in their population immediately after a natural disaster; reduce budget volatility, and offer diverse products for both a range of perils and economic sectors and industries that are not readily available in traditional insurance markets.

The New Generation Tucson Has Arrived.

tucsonmw29072021PHILIPSBURG:--- The much anticipated fourth-generation Hyundai Tucson is finally available at Motorworld, offering cutting-edge design, roominess, class-leading digital capabilities, dynamic ride and handling and excellent fuel efficiency. The exterior styling of the new Tucson embodies the new Sensuous Sportiness design identity by the Hyundai designers. This can be seen from the crisp geometric angles on the Tucson’s side profile, creating a striking contrast and sleek silhouette. The kinetic design theme doesn’t stop there, but is present all around the vehicle, with half-hidden triangular shapes in the taillamps and half-mirror type daytime running lamps (DRLs) that are blended seamlessly within the parametric grille. On the inside, the new Tucson combines space, technology and information in ways that have never been done before. The layout of the cabin provides passengers with a feeling of openness, with a broad ridge dashboard and fully integrated center fascia that houses the 10.25-inch full-touch screen. This combined with a multi-air ventilation system and an open, hoodless digital gauge cluster create a high-tech, fresh ambience and premium presence.
Highlights
• LED Static Bending Head Lights
• Parametric Hidden LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
• LED Rear Combination Tail Lights
• Smart Electronically Opening Power Tailgate
• Rain Sensing Wipers
• Panoramic Sunroof
• 360 Degree Surround View Cameras
Safety Features
• 6 Front Surround and Side Curtain Airbags
• Blind Spot View Monitor (BSVM) Cameras
• Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
• Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
• Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA)
• Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) with Auto Hold
• Hill Assist Control
• Downhill Brake Control (DBC)
Driving Experience
• 2.0L Smartstream NU MPI Engine with 8-speed Automatic Transmission
• Drive Mode Select (Eco, Normal, Sport)
• HTRAC All-Wheel Drive System
Technology
• 10.25 Inch Touchscreen with Full Touch Center Fascia
• 10.25 Inch TFT Open Digital Supervision Cluster
• Wireless Apple Car Play / Android Auto
• Wireless Smartphone Charging Pad
• Remote Engine Starter
• 64-Color fully Customizable Mood Lighting
• BOSE 8-Speaker Premium Audio System
The Tucson offers the following colors: White Cream, Phantom Black, Shimmering Silver, Silky Bronze, Titan Gray, Amazon Gray, Crimson Red or Ocean Indigo with interior options that come in black, grey, blue or brown and made of either cloth or leather material. The different trims available include 17”, 18” or 19” Alloy Wheels with full sized spare, while all models come with 5 Years Warranty to give customers the ultimate peace of mind. These are only some of the reasons why the new Hyundai Tucson has been named the mid-size SUV of the year by the Auto Express New Car Awards. It pushes the boundaries of the segment to reinvent everything, giving drivers a level of roominess, comfort and versatility that exceeds all expectations.
Be sure to visit at Welfare Road #20 in Cole Bay, call +1 (721) 544-5294 or visit the website at www.motorworldgroupsxm.com for further information.

 

La nouvelle génération de Tucson est arrivée
La Hyundai Tucson de quatrième génération, très attendue, est enfin disponible à Motorworld. Elle offre un design de pointe, de la spaciosité, les meilleures capacités numériques de sa catégorie, une conduite et un comportement dynamiques et une excellente efficacité énergétique. Le style extérieur du nouveau Tucson incarne la nouvelle identité de design "Sensuous Sportiness" des designers de Hyundai. Cela se voit aux angles géométriques nets sur le profil latéral du Tucson, créant un contraste saisissant et une silhouette élégante. Le thème du design cinétique ne s'arrête pas là, mais est présent tout autour du véhicule, avec des formes triangulaires à moitié cachées dans les feux arrière et des feux de jour (DRL) de type demi-miroir qui se mêlent harmonieusement à la calandre paramétrique.
À l'intérieur, la nouvelle Tucson combine espace, technologie et information de manière inédite. L'aménagement de l'habitacle procure aux passagers une sensation d'ouverture, avec un tableau de bord à large crête et un bandeau central entièrement intégré qui abrite l'écran tactile intégral de 10,25 pouces. Ces éléments, combinés à un système de ventilation multi-air et à un groupe de jauges numériques ouvert et sans capot, créent une ambiance high-tech et fraîche et une présence haut de gamme.
Points forts
- Feux avant statiques à LED
- Feux arrière combinés à LED
- Hayon électrique à ouverture électronique intelligente
- Essuie-glaces à détecteur de pluie
- Toit ouvrant panoramique
Caractéristiques de sécurité
- 6 coussins gonflables latéraux et rideaux gonflables latéraux avant
- Caméras de surveillance des angles morts (BSVM)
- Système de prévention des collisions dans l'angle mort (BCA)
- Assistance au maintien dans la voie (LKA)
- Assistance à la prévention des collisions avant (FCA)
- Assistance au suivi de voie
- Frein de stationnement électronique (EPB) avec blocage automatique
- Contrôle de l'assistance en côte
- Contrôle du freinage en descente (DBC)

 

Expérience de conduite
- Moteur Smartstream NU MPI de 2,0 L avec transmission automatique à 8 vitesses
- Sélection du mode de conduite (Eco, Normal, Sport)
- Système toutes roues motrices HTRAC
Technologie
- Écran tactile intégral de 10,25 pouces
- Apple Car Play/ Android Auto sans fil
- Chargeur sans fil
- Démarreur à distance
- Système d'éclairage d'ambiance à 10 couleurs
- Éclairage d'ambiance 64 couleurs entièrement personnalisable (versions les plus élevées)
- Système audio haut de gamme BOSE à 8 haut-parleurs
- Tableau de bord numérique ouvert TFT de 10,25 pouces
Le Tucson offre les couleurs suivantes : Blanc Crème, Noir Fantôme, Argent Scintillant, Bronze Soyeux, Gris Titan, Gris Amazone, Rouge Pourpre ou Océan Indigo avec des options intérieures dans les tons noirs ou gris et faites de tissu ou de cuir. Les différentes finitions disponibles comprennent des jantes en alliage de 17, 18 ou 19 pouces avec une roue de secours de taille normale, tandis que tous les modèles sont couverts par une garantie de 5 ans pour offrir aux clients une tranquillité d'esprit absolue.
Ce ne sont là que quelques-unes des raisons pour lesquelles la nouvelle Hyundai Tucson a été nommé SUV de taille moyenne de l'année par les Auto Express New Car Awards. Il repousse les limites du segment pour tout réinventer, offrant aux conducteurs un niveau d'espace, de confort et de polyvalence qui dépasse toutes les attentes.
Ne manquez pas de vous rendre au Welfare Road #20 à Cole Bay, appelez le +1 (721) 544-5294 ou visitez le site web www.motorworldgroupsxm.com pour de plus amples informations.


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