Trench too close to the main road while, it could kill the 250-year-old Silk Cotton tree.
PHILIPSBURG:— The investors of Rainforest Adventure that is busy constructing the Zip-line and other businesses to attract tourist is yet to comply with the wishes of the government of St. Maarten.
SMN News learned that the investors met with government more than once to outline the project and the Council of Ministers asked them to provide government with more information on all that will take place at Emilio Wilson Estate.
Apart from requesting more information the Council of Ministers also informed the investors that they must fill up the huge trench they dug on the property which is way too close to the main road, citing that the pond could overflow in the event of heavy rainfall. Besides that, the trench poses a real risk to the 250-year-old silk cotton tree that can die a slow death because of excessive water.
On Wednesday, Minister of Labor Emil Lee announced that he met with the developers who informed him that they will employ at least 80 persons but top positions will be reserved for their experts. Lee said that the investors even told him that they were willing to train people that would not be working for them
SMN News then asked the Minister of VROMI Christopher Emmanuel if Rainforest Adventures already complied with the request from government by supplying information also filling up of the trench. Minister Emmanuel said it would not be proper for him to divulge information on the discussions government have been having with Rainforest Adventure. He did say that discussions are ongoing and when those discussions are finalized he will inform the people of St. Maarten via the media.
A concerned citizen wrote several emails to SMN News highlighting the fact that Rainforest Adventure chose to give out exclusive contracts to at least one tour bus operator leaving out taxi drivers and other tour operators. The concerned citizen also indicated that a particular restauranteur managed to secure exclusive rights to handle food and beverage for Rainforest facilities. The writer questioned the decisions taken by the developer and asked if no one else on St. Maarten are worthy of getting work.
The government of St. Maarten purchased Emilio Wilson Estate for $17M which was supposed to be the people’s patrimony but the UPP government chose to lease the property way below market value for the development of Rainforest Zip Line and other tourist attractions. The developers were hoping to open their doors by June-July 2017 but with the demands from government has caused some delay.