SMMTA Questions Port and Minister Arrindell

PHILIPSBURG:— On September 7, 2016 the St. Maarten Marine Trades Association (SMMTA) requested a town hall style meeting with Mr. Mark Mingo, PORT CEO and management of the Port Group of Companies (Port) to discuss the alleged request by the Port to have the Simpson Bay and the Simpson Bay Lagoon given to the Port in the form of a concession. The SMMTA’s meeting request was based on the Port’s press release of September 5, 2016, stating specifically that “the Port’s door is always open.”

To date, neither the Port nor anyone from the Ministry of TEATT has responded to or even acknowledged receipt of any of the letters from the SMMTA questioning the issuance of a concession for Simpson Bay and the Simpson Bay Lagoon. As such, the SMMTA hereby publicly requests that the Port and Minister of TEATT, Mrs. Ingrid Arrindell respond to the following questions prior to taking any further steps regarding the abovementioned concession.

1. Will the zoning plan for Simpson Bay and Cole Bay as presented in the past to the general public still be in force or will the sought after transfer of this concession allow the Port to deviate from what was presented to the people?

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2. Is the Port planning to, amongst other things, build a cruise ship pier for home porting, or other marine activity including a fueling facility right outside the bridge in front of the former BBW property and the Simpson Bay Beach?

3. Does the Port intend to pump up dredged material to fill in the lagoon even more and create additional land in front of the Airport? If so, where will this dredged material come from?

4. Should the Concession be awarded, how does the Port plan to pay for the cost of the concession? Would increase the current Bridge Fees, Mooring Fees, or Through-put Fees on Fuel and Containers be considered, thereby again increasing the cost of living on St. Maarten?

5. Before any increase of above-mentioned fees, will an Economic Impact Study be made? If so, when will the general public be able to review such a study?

6. Before any additional dredging is done in Simpson Bay or the Simpson Bay Lagoon, will the Port conduct an Environmental Impact Study? If so, when will the general public be able to review that study?

7. What is the reason for the requested Concession? And why now?

8. Why is ANY Simpson Bay and Simpson Bay Lagoon related concession being requested by the Port directly?

The SMMTA feels that it in particular and the public, in general, deserve answers to the above questions and that failure to address these concerns raises, even more, questions about the agenda of the Port and the Ministry of TEATT. At the end of the day, the most important question is – Why is the request for the transfer of the concession being dealt with behind closed doors so close to the upcoming Parliamentary Elections?

On behalf of the St. Maarten Marine Trades Association

By: Michael J. Ferrier
SMMTA Board Member & Government Liaison.

St. Maarten, September 15, 2016

Source: St. Martin News Network
SMMTA Questions Port and Minister Arrindell.

1 COMMENT

  1. Well this has been in the making from the start, the pier in front of BBW, I didn’t know it was for fueling. They have an office already. I went to a town hall meeting in Simpson Bay for our thoughts on the causeway, if we agreed with the project and then they threw us an underhanded curveball. They were asking us besides that what we thought of these 2 projects, a pier and a boardwalk in Simpson Bay. I give up, this **** has already been in the working we have nothing to say. You know the vultures are slowly waiting for our Simpson Bay citizens to die and they are buying all those little houses up one by one. Then again what can say that is the way of the world. It changes and we cannot keep holding on to what we love. An then soon again we are all dead so nobody appreciates our values anymore anyway because they never knew it. And who the hell I’m going to vote for this election!!!!!! (And they are doing this now just before the election isn’t that obvious).

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