Minister Lake discusses issues with Middle Region Community Council President and Stakeholders


PHOTO CUTLINE: Minister Hon. Maurice Lake (2nd from left) addressing an issue during the Middle Region district community site visit. DCOMM Photo

The Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake last week met with representatives of the Middle Region Community Council (MRCC) and land owners regarding several issues of concern, and as part of his "back to basics," approach, he wants immediate action taken by all concerned who can make a difference in the quality of life of the residents of Middle Region.

Issues discussed were overflowing garbage bins, running septic tank water on the newly constructed road, malfunctioning street lights, and exposed cable lines by the various utility companies.

"It seems that nothing was done during the past 12-months based on what I have been hearing. In my discussions with the various stakeholders, we discussed a piece of property for a community center and the MRCC will get back to me with a proposal. We also discussed the creation of employment for young people within the district and this will be further explored," Minister Maurice Lake said on Monday.

Minister Lake indicated that in consultation with the respective parties the matters will be looked into and will be dealt with in the coming weeks. All urgent cases of overflowing septic will be handled as soon as possible and connections to the main sewer line will be carried out by the main contractor MNO Vervat of the Middle Region Project.

Several house connections will be executed to eliminate septic flowing on the main road.

The issues of insufficient garbage bins or the lack thereof will also be looked in by the Ministry of VROMI to ensure that the residents of Middle Region have the appropriate size garbage bins.

GEBE, one of the leading utility companies had representatives present during the site visit in Middle Region and attest to having the street lights functioning in a timely manner, although they have stated that their cables are being stolen prior to connecting to the main power source.

GEBE is pleading to the general public to please respect the manner in which they carry out their works and not to steal their cables. This causes tremendous delays and also becomes extremely costly and creates an unsafe environment for everyone involved, as the streetlight that supply electricity for the light poles cannot be illuminated at night during the time of need creating an atmosphere of safety and security for residents and business owners.

Minister Lake indicated that the community of Middle Region has seen a great transformation with the infrastructure upgrade that began in the year 2011 under former Minister of VROMI Theo Heyliger, with the implementation of a new concrete road, drainage system and installation of sewer lines of which were the initial kick of rehabilitating the neighborhood.

The project is in its second phase with the reconstruction of the boundary walls that is currently being executed, with the main focus on the West Side of Middle Region which is nearing completion.

Once the aforementioned works are completed the focus will be on the East Side of Middle Region where residence will also see a transformation on the visual appearance of the boundary wall once construction begins.

The works for the East Side will go on bid within the coming months and all contractors registered on Sint Maarten are welcome to a tender package in preparation for their submitted bid.

Minister Lake was accompanied by civil servants from the New Projects and Inspection Departments.