style=”text-align: center;”> District cleaning soon to go on bid — efforts being made to accommodate local entrepreneurs.
PHILIPSBURG: — Minister of VROMI Angel Meyers announced on Wednesday that he met with the Indian Merchants Association (IMA) where he discussed the disposal and collection of commercial garbage. He said currently Philipsburg is under control but his Ministry still has great concerns with parcel five and six, which is the Cay Hill area, Cul de Sac basin and St. Peters area.
The Minister said the department of VROMI met with the contractor this week and they held some detail discussions. One being the schedule on the collection of garbage which was presented by the contractor and he disagreed with schedule the contractor provided. Minister Meyers said that the current contractor was given one week to shape up if not his Ministry will take drastic measures by hiring the next contractor in line at the expense of the current contractor.
Meyers said that during this week the situation in the two parcels will be evaluated and if there is no satisfactory improvement he will implement plan B which is to hire another contractor at the expense of the current contractor.
The Minister of VROMI also announced that his Ministry divided the district cleaning project into 13 parcels and the bidding process for that project will commence in the month of May. Minister Meyers said that aim of government is to provide work for local entrepreneurs while providing jobs for the people of St. Maarten. He said that the district cleaning will include the cleaning of trenches, cemeteries, cutting of trees, school yards and other areas.
As for the fire burning on the dump since Thursday Minister said that there have been fires on the landfill for quite some time now. He said that definitely the government of St. Maarten has to find a solution to the problem since the Landfill already outlived its lifespan.
Meyers said on the fire trucks could not even go up to where the fire was burning to assist in putting the fire out since there is no access road in the area where the fire was. He said that an emergency meeting was held on Monday and the contractor that is managing the dump have been hauling 1000 cube of dirt to curb the burning, while three ledges were cut and walls were built while three additional machines were brought it to solely combat the fire. The Minister made clear that government knows what needs to be done in terms of the landfill and what is taking place now cannot continue. He said there are a number of competing interests in moving forward with the waste to energy facility. He said that government intends to take a decision this week on how they will move forward on the purchase of energy. He further stated that the fire department will be placing four fire hydrants on the landfill so that the fire trucks do not have to go back on the Landfill in case there is another fire and risk damaging their equipment. Prime Minister William Marlin acknowledged that St. Maarten is in an election year, but one has to admit that fires have been on the landfill for years and the current contractor that is managing the landfill is in their transition phase and while they had some serious challenges with putting the fire and smoke out they have done quite a lot to manage and contain the fire.
Asked if there is anything done by government to educate the residents on St. Maarten on the time frame for the disposal of household garbage. He said when the final schedule is completed it will be published and hopefully the residents will follow the schedule and will dispose their garbage closer to when garbage will be collected in their areas.