Published On: Sat, Jun 19th, 2021

MP Buncamper questions landfill maintenance

PHILIPSBURG — The budget to maintain the landfill is lowered by 610,000 guilders in the draft 2021 budget. Member of Parliament Claudius Buncamper (United St. Maarten party) wants to know from Minister Egbert Doran (Public Housing, Urban Panning, Environment and Infrastructure – VROMI) how the government believes it will be able to afford “any effective changes” with such a curtailed budget.

MP Buncamper posed thirty questions to the minister, but his most extensive queries were about the landfill, a project he is familiar with given his previous function as the government’s head of infrastructure.

Buncamper notes that the contracts for the machinery that is used on the landfill expire this week. “Nothing has been renewed. Is government planning to stop the works until there is an extension or a new tender? What is the government planning exactly?”

The MP notes that the landfill “was and is still the biggest monster and problem the country knows.” He notes that an additional $25 million is reportedly allocated for the Emergency Debris Management Project and wonders how much of this money is being used for shipwreck removal and for resettling people who are currently living illegally near the dump.

Buncamper furthermore asks about the cleaning up of the Irma landfill and about the state of machinery – a bulldozer, a loader and a compactor – the Netherlands donated after Hurricane Irma in 2017. “How much money has the government reserved to maintain these machines and how many are still operational? I see that most trucks are parked and have no tires.”

Buncamper also expresses his surprise about the 2 million guilders increase in the cost for garbage collection. “What additional services are they providing?”

The MP furthermore questions the minister about the bad state of the road on Front Street and about the parking problems in Philipsburg. “I notice that there is nothing reserved to upgrade the capital of the country where we have serious parking issues and also a very bad road deck on Front Street.”

Other questions refer to the cannon price for domain land, the discharge fees at the sewage plant, beach cleanup, the cost for the construction of additional burial vaults, the connection of sewage lines on Front Street and in the Foga-area, storm water pumps, streetlight maintenance, traffic management and affordable housing.

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