No more funds available for clean upPOSTED: 11/13/14 8:47 AM
St. Maarten – The island clean-up process has come to a halt because of an alleged lack of funds to pay the approximately 25 contractors involved in the project.
There are still a number of areas where there is debris from trees etc. that needs to be cleaned so that the island is again ready for the start of the tourist season next month. Questions are being raised as to what has happened to the money from the disaster relief fund. The disaster funds which are said by reliable sources to be in the area of Naf 250,000 annually is placed at the disposal of government to have this type of work done when it becomes necessary.
It has been speculated that the passage of hurricane Gonzalo which left the island in disarray last month may have taken a sizable amount of that budget. However the torrential rains that the island experienced last weekend and the subsequent flooding now requires additional funds to be cleaned and to have the island back in optimal shape for the tourist season.
Work has meanwhile come to a halt and the debris continues to pile up in several areas around St. Maarten. According to reports, even though the amount of damage was unexpected following the last hurricane, the cleanup was expected to be completed by now.
Efforts to reach Vromi Minister Maurice Lake, to address this issue have proven futile.