Published On: Mon, Feb 5th, 2018

Landfill Fire: Urgent Notices from Government

Landfill Fire: COM Closes Schools in Philipsburg. Business Owners and residents should take measures

GREAT BAY – Due to the fire at the Pond Island landfill, the Prime Minister in collaboration with the Council of Ministers took the following decisions after assessment of the current on-going situation.

All schools in the Philipsburg area were ordered to be closed and parents/guardians as well as school bus operators were asked to pick up the school children from the schools in the aforementioned area. The Police Department was requested to assisted with the potential traffic challenges in the Philipsburg area.

Residents and business owners were asked to use discretion and allow employees with respiratory challenges to take the necessary measures to avoid the wind driven smoke.

All persons are encouraged to purchase nose and mouth masks from local hardware stores as a preventative measure against smoke inhalation.

Minister of Education visits other schools in Cay Hill to assess situation

Also, due to the fire at the Pond Island landfill, the Minister of Education Jorien Wuite visited the Asha Stevens Hillside Christian School and the Learning Unlimited Preparatory School in Cay Hill to assess the situation regarding landfill smoke, and in collaboration with school managers the decision was taken for the two schools to remain open as the winds had since shifted and the smoke did not pose a threat at this moment.

Minister Wuite also visited on Monday morning schools in the Philipsburg area, and based on the site visits to the five schools in the area (St. Joseph Primary School, Sr. Borgia Primary School, Oranje Primary School, Marie Genevieve de Weever School Cycle 1 and 2 and Sundial High School), Minister Wuite in close consultation with Prime Minister Romeo Marlin started preparations to allow students to leave school early as smoke relating to the fire on the landfill continued to be worrisome. A notice with respect to the aforementioned was communicated to the community on Monday morning.

Students of the primary schools were released into the care of their parents or guardians and the Minister urged all businesses to allow employees to collect their children and make proper childcare arrangements.

The Minister of Education Wuite remains in close contact with the Prime Minister and all relevant authorities, and will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Advice Fire Department

The Fire Department, is advising persons living downwind from the landfill fire, to close windows and doors, especially persons who have a respiratory challenge such as asthma, or shortness of breath.

The Fire Department along with the company responsible for the management of the landfill are working diligently to extinguish the fire.

Civil Registry/Voting Cards

The Civil Registry Department has temporarily closed the Old Census Office as a pick-up location due to the hazardous smoke situation on the landfill.

Persons who vote in the following Philipsburg districts: John Larmonie Center, Sundial School, St Maarten Senior Citizen Recreational Centre, Melford Hazel Sport & Recreational Centre, Bute Hotel, and NIPA school have to pick up their voting cards for the PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS 2018 at a later date.

Pick up voting cards in one of four locations
(Philipsburg closed until further notice)

Philipsburg—In regards to the upcoming February 26th, 2018, Parliamentary Elections, the Civil Registry Department will be distributing the voting cards at four different locations: the Dutch Quarter Helpdesk, St. Peters Rupert Maynard Community Centre, Public Service Center (PSC) in Simpsonbay, and the Old Census office building in Philipsburg.

Once persons are registered at the Civil Registry department and they are eligible voters, their voting cards can be collected from February 5 to February 9 at one of the distribution locations.

Please take note that your district is connected to the address that you are registered under at the Civil Registry Department.

The voting districts in the Dutch Quarter area are: the Sister Marie Laurence School (district 4), Dutch Quarter Community Centre (district 5), Belvedere Community Center (district 14), Community Helpdesk DQ Dr. Bryson (district 17) (previously Justice Academy). Here the district pick up for the voting cards is at the Dutch Quarter Helpdesk, next to Dr. Bryson’s medical practice.

For the voting districts of Milton Peters (district 6), Methodist Agogic center (district 16), Sint Maarten Academy (district 8), and Rupert Maynard Community Center (district 7), the voter card pick-up is at the St. Peters Rupert Maynard Community Centre.

The voting districts in the Cole bay area are: the Seventh day Adventist School (district 18), Simpsonbay Sport Community Center (district 13), Leonard Conner School (district 12), and the Charles Leopold Bell School (district 11); and the location for pick-up of the voter card is the Public Service Center (PSC) in Simpsonbay (Fish market).

The location in Philipsburg will be closed until further notice due to the adverse conditions caused by the smoke emanating from the landfill location.

For persons voting in the following districts: John Larmonie Center (district 1), Sundial School (district 2), St Maarten senior Citizen Recreational, Centre (district 3), Melford Hazel Sport & recreational Centre (district 15), Bute Hotel (district 9) (previously Raoul Illidge Sportcomplex), NIPA (district 10) (previously Celebration palace), the distribution point for the voting cards will be at the Old Census office building, Soualiga Rd #6.

This distribution of these voting cards will take place from Monday, February 5th through Friday, February 9th between the hours of 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

For more information from the Department of Civil Registry (Census), please call: 5420652, 5426085, 5429344.

Additional information will be forthcoming as warranted.

COM ministers and fire

PHOTO CUTLINE: L to R: Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever, Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin and Minister of Finance Michael Ferrier discussing the current fire at the landfill.