DUTCH QUARTER, Sint Maarten –– Upgrading work in the Dutch Quarter district will officially begin late 2016, into 2017, with the awarding of the contract to contractors in November.
Prime Minister William Marlin explained this at the symbolic signing for the project to upgrade the infrastructure of Dutch Quarter on Monday, February 8, in the presence of Incoming Ambassador to the European Union representing the Dutch islands Jernej Viditic, and Minister of VROMI Angel Meyers.
The Prime Minister stated that the project was signed by then Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams some three years ago, when he was Minister of VROMI.
Monday’s symbolic signing was to usher in the company that will officially supervise the project. Marlin said that even though the project has been signed off, work will not begin right away.
“It might not be before the last quarter of 2016 that we will actually have a contract that is awarded for the physical work to begin,” He said. “The realization of the project will not take place, most likely not before November, December 2016, and most of the work done in the following year,” he explained.
Prime Minister Marlin said the upgrading work will improve the infrastructure in Dutch Quarter, especially as it relates to sewage water running on the streets.
Head of the Department of New Projects and Planning Kurt Ruan, explained that the project will cost €6.1 million (euros) and is funded through the 10th EDF Funding. The Government of St. Maarten is funding €1.3 million. The project will take 18-24 months to be completed when it begins.
There will be proper drainage, proper installation of streetlights, and living conditions of the residents will greatly improve, Ruan said. There will also be upgrading of dirt roads in the area.
Ambassador Viditic was pleased with the new developments, and that finally the district of Dutch Quarter would be getting the development it deserved.
“It’s a good project. It helps people live better so the quality of life in St. Maarten will improve,” Ambassador Viditic said.
Project Supervisor Ravindra Patandin, represented the company that will be supervising the project. He expressed gratitude for being afforded the opportunity to do work again in St. Maarten, having done work on the island in the 1990s.
Meanwhile, Sidney De Weever, representing the Dutch Quarter Community Council, expressed elation that the project was finally happening. “We have been long, too long in the stone ages when it concerns to our infrastructure development and I am very proud that the government has finally finalized when it comes to the financing of the project for Dutch Quarter to move into the 21st century, as such, with regard to our infrastructure,” he said.
Minister Meyers was also pleased that the project is finally happening. “It is this government’s intention to improve the living conditions of the residents within the different districts,” Meyers said. “Now after almost two years, a significant step in our joint efforts is bearing fruit for the people of Dutch Quarter.”