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Published On: Thu, May 17th, 2018

Repairs to police station get priority

Police Station Philipsburg

PHILIPSBURG – The first emergency repairs funded by the trust fund at the World Bank will begin in June, Prime Minister Leona Marlin-Romeo announced during Wednesday’s Council of Ministers press briefing. There is a budget of $55 million for the first project – emergency repairs, disaster preparedness and utilities.

Under this program fall repairs to the police station, the fire station and hurricane shelters, urgent school repairs, a new location and equipment for the meteorological department, new ambulances, repair to 500 roofs for vulnerable groups, emergency communication equipment, emergency repairs to electricity and trenching lines, water storage tanks and repairs of street lights.

A second project, with a budget of $19 million focuses on income support and skills training for under- or unemployed citizens. The existing hospitality training program has 700 participants but the emergency project opens this program to other sectors to accommodate 2,600 participants.

The third project, with a budget of $15 million deals with debris removal and assistance with solid waste management. It includes a cash for work program to clean the island, clearance of the hurricane debris from the baby-dump, clean up of shipwrecks, assistance with the prevention of new fires at the dump and assistance with a plan for sustainable solid waste management.

Leona Marlin-Romeo - 20180516 HHPrime Minister Marlin-Romeo said on Wednesday that the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) is in its final stages and that it has been sent to the Council of Ministers, the parliament and stakeholders for vetting.

The prime minister noted that she would have liked the announced emergency projects to have started yesterday. “The reality is that the preparation of these projects and especially the internal procedures at the World Bank take much more time than the Council of Ministers anticipated. 470 Million euros is a lot of money and this government must ensure that every cent is accounted for.”

A World Bank team of more than 25 people is in St. Maarten to work together with civil servants on the preparation of the projects mentioned above.

Photo caption: Prime Minister Leona Marlin-Romeo during Wednesday’s Council of Ministers press briefing. Photo Hilbert Haar.