William: Govt holding back roof repair program

William Marlin


PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Former Prime Minister William Marlin says government seems to be deliberately holding back the immediate roof repair program initiated by the former government, delaying the mending of the roofs of many residents who are still struggling with tarpaulins on their homes.

Marlin said the former National Alliance-led government had approved 3 million guilders for immediate roof repairs and he insisted that the program should have already started. A private donor had also promised to make 2 million guilders available, which was supposed to have been channelled via a foundation.

“The present government has been holding back on this programme going into effect”, Marlin said. “But I can guarantee you that while they might be able to hold it back now, they will not be able to hold it back forever. Soon the roof repair program will begin”.

Marlin said every time it rains, he gets worried about the many residents who are still without roofs on their homes since the passing of hurricanes Irma in September 2016. Several persons have approached him enquiring about the roof repair program, but it seems as though the present government for some reason is delaying the implementation of the program to bring relief to residents.

He called on Government to do what is necessary to get the program off the ground post haste as 3 million guilders was already approved for the initiative before they even took office.

He urged residents to remain focussed. “Help is on its way. The funding is in place and more money will be made available. In meantime, ask you to bear with the circumstances. We understand and feel your condition, but we are asking you also not to miss this opportunity and make use of your right to vote.”