PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Earlier this week, MP Wescot reminded the TEATT Minister of her multiple requests for information regarding the Philipsburg Market Place. The MP explained that in recent meetings, she has queried about the market place, the Ring Road and the vendors on the Walter Nisbeth Road, and questioned what is in place for the future of these micro businesses.
“I have been skeptical about government’s true intention for the Philipsburg Market Place since this project was taken out of the capital budget of government. As it was said at the time “…it was to be financed by the Harbor Company/ies…”.
In fact, in May 2022, I wrote to former Minister Lawrence and informed him that
via press report I had learned of the agreement with the Royal Caribbean Group to reconstruct the Philipsburg Market Place. I also told the minister that I was one of the members of Parliament who was very critical that the capital funds for this project were removed from the country’s budget by means of an amendment.
“My criticism stemmed from the very noncommittal response to the amendment that “the harbor company will construct the market place”. Which of course for me raised questions regarding the financial position of the Harbor Group of Companies.
What was not divulged at that time was that the Harbor Group of Companies was seeking third party financing for the Philipsburg market place.
I therefore asked back in 2022: “Now that the agreement with RCG has been inked, kindly provide the agreement with RCG to (re)build the Philipsburg market place, the plans for the market place and any other information relevant to this agreement.”
In my recent correspondence to the current TEATT minister, I reminded him of this request as just before the transition from acting Minister of TEATT Ottley to Minister Lambriex, the acting Minister could be seen updating the vendors of the market place on the plans; yet the present minister seems to allude to a decision yet to be finalized. Be that as it may, I am quite interested in the agreement between the Harbor, the government (if applicable) and RCG to reconstruct the market place.
Hopefully, the current TEATT minister will be more forthcoming and the whole concept and agreement for the Philipsburg Market place can be made known soonest.