PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake said on Thursday, that work has started in the Middle Region district with respect to the East Boundary Wall.
“It’s back to work in Middle Region. I met with residents to start with the long overdue project of the East Boundary Wall. Prior to me taking up this ministerial portfolio, absolutely no work was done for a year by the former National Alliance Minister in this community.
“My back to basics approach is all about getting things done and taking care of our communities and continuing to improve the quality of life in our districts. I met with representatives of NV GEBE, St. Maarten Cable TV, New Works Department, and the Family Philips in order to get things back on track and moving forward.
“The local boys from the district will be getting the work. We had a very good discussion and the different stakeholders have to work together to remove any obstacles that would hamper pedestrians. It’s a very good project for the Middle Region neighbourhood,” Minister of VROMI Hon. Maurice Lake said on Thursday.
The neighborhood improvement project for the district of Middle Region began in 2010, under the leadership of former Minister of VROMI, Theo Heyliger. An amount of 5.3 million Euros was invested in Middle Region with the upgrading of the main road, construction of a new sewage line, upgrading of the drainage system, a new concrete road and the placement of all overhead cables underground. The majority of the physical works was completed mid-2012.
However during the construction phase of the project it was requested by the Middle Region Community Council and concerned residents to enlarge the width of the road from the original contract of five meters to 5.5 meters, to ensure a safer movement of traffic from school busses to heavy equipment moving thru the neighborhood.
Minister Lake indicates that back then they were aware of the challenges ahead, which meant that consultation and the cooperation of the landowners residing alongside the main road would be a long and tedious process. With considerable efforts all 72 landowners involved granted their permission to use their land/property for the widening of the road, and also for the implementation of sidewalks alongside the main road.
Minister Lake further indicated that the 72 residents back then agreed under the condition that Government lives up to its part of the deal.
On the basis of trust and a good relationship between the then Minister of VROMI, Theo Heyliger and the 72 residents of Middle Region, an agreement was signed in May of 2012 ensuring them that their adjusted boundary walls will be re-constructed by Government.
The project Middle Region Boundary Walls East and Boundary Walls West was established to ensure the realization of the reconstruction of the walls and fences that were demolished during the placement of the sidewalks and enlargement of the road.