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EXCLUSIVE: National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB) fired contractor, shelters will not be ready for impending storm or hurricane.

~NRPB hand-picked condemned contractor for double amount to repair 4 shelters.~

PHILIPSBURG:--- With the possibility of the island having to deal with either a tropical storm or category one hurricane as early as Wednesday St. Maarten will not have its hurricane shelters ready even though the Minister of VROMI announced two weeks ago that these shelters should be ready for the peak of the 2020 hurricane season. The peak season is known to be the end of August thru October of the year.
While the 2020 hurricane season is indeed an active one that begins way before the expected timeframe for the Lesser Antilles, governments, and the NRPB had 3 years to repair the shelters that were damaged since the passing of hurricane IRMA in September 2017 yet in 2020 these shelters are still in a dilapidated condition. The Dutch Government provided funding through the World Bank yet several key projects such as shelters and schools are not yet repaired.
According to information SMN News received the NRPB held a bidding process which was won by Confident Construction BV to repair 13 shelters for the sum of $890.000.00, however, the leadership of NRPB led to some kind of disagreement between the contractor and the NRPB with the latter terminating the contract with Confident Construction NV. A second bidding process was held this time by contractors that were handpicked by the NRPB. SMN News learned the 3 contractors that were handpicked by the NRPB are Windward Roads BV, Commodore NV, and LICCOM NV, with Windward Road winning that bid to repair 4 shelters for $850.000.00. Almost the same price charged by the first contractor for repairing less than half of the amount the previous contractor would have repaired.
What is amazing is that Windward Roads were condemned in the LARIMAR investigation in 2018 to the tune of $2M which they must conduct works for the Ministry of VROMI, since then Windward Roads is yet to abide by the deal cut out for them by the Prosecutors Office and instead of the government using this opportunity to have the contractor repair the much-needed shelters and schools the NRBP have chosen to sideline local contractors and award contracts to the bigger contractors that were part of a corruption investigation and were even sanctioned by the judicial system. Somehow it appears that certain politicians that were given special positions chose to spend the Dutch taxpayer's money however they want or hoping that they too could get a little dig in while the present government has no clue as to what is taking place with this entity that is supposed to guard the Dutch money. No wonder State Secretary Raymond Knops buckLed St. Maarten down to more conditions for SSRP support and wants an entity "Caribbean Reform Entity" established to oversee projects with their money. 
On Tuesday, the NRBP is supposed to report to Parliament, that is if they find the time or deemed it necessary to answer to Parliament. Hopefully, the Members of Parliament especially the USP faction will ask the real questions regarding the repairs of the shelters and schools, and also present motions since they have the details regarding the sanction given to Windwards Roads in the LARIMAR investigation. 
Below is the article related to WWR and the LARIMAR investigation.


https://www.smn-news.com/st-maarten-st-martin-news/30756-exclusive-windward-roads-fined-2m-and-exempted-from-all-criminal-investigations-and-prosecution.html

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