The message of President Daniel Gibbs
I wished this year to present my wishes to the living forces of the territory in a new format by going to the heart of the neighborhoods.
2019 will be - and I say it with determination - a year of achievements and concretizations of our ambitions.
In March 2017, you entrusted us with the management of the Community for a period of 5 years. 5 years for which we are committed to a program of achievements. Almost two years have passed and we have had to face the crisis you all know.
St. Martin was put to the test but Saint-Martin gets up.
Despite the obstacles, despite the slow pace of all kinds that disrupted the resilience of our island, we did not let go. We fought to preserve the essential.
The social benefits, the support systems, have remained the same, they have even been reinforced in some areas. The tax burden has not increased.
We managed to maintain the balance while initiating the reforms necessary for the transformation of our society.
Part of our program has been carried out - I will have the opportunity to come back to it in detail at the mid-term review - and of course there are still commitments to be made in the coming years to fully achieve our investment in Saint-Laurent. Martin.
2018 has been a trying year, but now it's behind us.
I have a thought for those who have passed away this year, for those who are still in the ordeal and are going through difficult times. I encourage them to persevere and above all to keep faith in the future.
2019 begins and with it new perspectives, new horizons, I hope for all.
I have often been criticized for going to the field less often, for getting away from you. Believe me, I regret it because you know how much I like to get in touch with my fellow citizens.
2018 and the challenges of reconstruction pushed me to other obligations, it was necessary to defend Saint-Martin, but this year I decided to go more often to meet you. I already give you an appointment because I will have the opportunity to make trips every quarter in neighborhoods.
I wish to be more attentive to your needs, to consult you more often, to exchange with you in an appropriate frame.
This is my 2019 resolution and I have asked my close teams, including my Cabinet, to work in this direction. And I also remember it: my door and those of my collaborators are always open.
I know that you expect a lot from your elected representatives, from the Community in general, and that sometimes you have the impression that things are not moving fast enough. This frustration, I share it, we share it with my team. We live it as you / it exasperates us sometimes like you.
I can announce it, the public market for the reconstruction of the boulevard de Grand Case has been realized, the companies have been consulted and we will finally be able to start the coating work at the end of January. They will be completed before the start of the Grand Case Tuesdays, the February 5. I commit myself personally. I specify that it is a temporary coating since the Establishment of Water will have to realize, in a few months, the sanitation in this zone.
Beginning 2018, I asked the Department of Territorial Archives and Heritage to work on a program of restoration of the remarkable homes of Grand Case, those along the boulevard and which were once the pride of the village.
It is a wish of the Community to help the rehabilitation of these houses but it must be and above all a strong will of the landowners.
A census of the owners was therefore carried out last year. We now know what type of device can be applied for this program, remains to decide on the method for this renovation work to be done quickly.
There will have to be a real awareness, because I do not intend to leave this heritage abandoned for decades, as we have seen in some places after LUIS.
The tourist future of Saint Martin and Grand Case in particular depend on it. It's our responsibility. We will have to act quickly! This is what I asked the teams of the Collectivité.
That being said, it's time for me to remember how much work has been done since 6 September 2017.
Everything is not perfect far from it, but everyone can see the remarkable progress of recent months. The reconstruction is running and it shows.
First of all, I salute the work of the public authorities, the community, the state and the institutional partners, to lay the foundations for exemplary and lasting reconstruction; companies that have been on the bridge for a year, associations and their volunteers who have deployed a great deal of energy to support resilience. Finally, I salute the commitment of the Saint-Martinoises and Saint-Martinois who have not spared their time to rebuild what they had lost.
Time is our best ally. Together, we have stood the test, we have achieved our goals, and I can proudly say it tonight: all the building sites in the community are open. We now have three years ahead of us to make them a reality and launch the construction of projects in the longer term.
As we continue the restoration projects, we will bring concrete projects to your area this year to improve your living environment.
My majority has a clear vision of what Saint Martin should become. This shared vision is that of a peaceful, innovative territory, turned towards tourism and socio-cultural exchanges. A territory open to the future, attractive in every sense of the word. It's a long-term job and we're working on it, believe me.
Three priorities are presented to us this year:
Firstwe must complete the reconstruction of the territory. We must complete the rehabilitation of public infrastructures: the renovation of schools, networks, the launch of the construction of the 900 College and the requalification of the Collège de Quartier d'Orléans. All these projects are on track. We are going forward.
I also hear that we pay particular attention to the cleanliness of the public space and the state of the road. The population will have to get involved with us because the public authorities alone can not carry this burden.
Secondly, we will concretize the development projects validated by the elected committees of 2018. Many projects have been studied in services.
The 2019 year will see the realization of these achievements including those related to the economic development and tourism of Saint-Martin - I think of Marigot and Grand Case but I also think of the projects of public services of proximity to Quarter of Orleans and Sandy Ground .
ThirdlyWe will develop public policies to support Saint-Martinois and our companies.
In terms of new public policies, I want as a priority that we strengthen in the coming months the accompaniment of young people saint-martinois towards training, access to employment and insertion. We need to go further in these areas because it is a strong expectation of the population.
The community will soon be launching under the aegis of my Vice-President Annick PETRUS FERGA, the first part of the Territorial Professional Training Program (PTFP) which includes more than 30 axes of training, from the simple training of refresher training Qualifying Level IV (Professional Title) and III (Bac + 2).
We will also put in place partnerships with associations insertion for hiring youth to clean up and beautify the territory.
Priority will also be given to setting up a housing policy in Saint-Martin, especially for access to property. The current situation is no longer sustainable with an indecent rise in house prices. We must find effective solutions.
Among the tracks, we decided, a few months ago, to set up a local habitat plan in Saint Martin to give a quantitative and qualitative roadmap for the construction of housing on the territory.
Meanwhile by February 15, we will publish the call for tender to select the firm that will accompany us for the implementation of the St. Martin Urban Plan. It will be a Local Town Planning Plan coordinated with the population and adapted to the needs of the territory for the next decade, which will be under the authority of my Vice President Steven PATRICK.
Finally, with my colleagues, we are counting on this new year to give impetus to public action in favor of economic development.
We have decided with my vice-presidents Valérie DAMASEAU and Yawo NYUIADZI, we must give ourselves the necessary means for the revival of our tourist destination, the attractiveness of the territory and the accompaniment of our economic actors.
As such, I want to salute the hoteliers, merchants and restaurateurs of Saint-Martin, who have redoubled their efforts in recent months to reopen their establishments and revive our territory.
I want to tell them that their efforts are crucial to us, that they are right to trust us because we will succeed together, step by step, the economic recovery of Saint-Martin.
The community is currently undertaking a major reform of the organization chart of its services. Among the new features of this organization chart, elected officials decided to create a Economic Development Agency internal to the community at first. Its missions will be mainly focused on the attractiveness of the territory internationally and the support of local companies.
We are aware with my team that we must remain reasonable and propose ambitious but realistic and above all achievable projects. Projects targeting the socio-economic development of Saint-Martin.
The projects I am talking about today are worked on, advanced, validated and funded. They are intended to improve the living environment of the inhabitants and to participate in the revival of the territory.
Achievements in the Grand Case area
For Grand Case, we have planned the transformation of the building of the old school Elie Gibs into Maison des Associations. Built on two levels, the main building will offer a large meeting room of 80 square meters on the first floor, as well as a showroom on the ground floor.
Industry associations will be able to occupy this space sized to their needs.
A new building at the back will allow associations and the District Council to have dedicated spaces. The presence of the territorial police will be renewed in a small annex building.
The first stone will be asked in the first semester 2019. The financing of this project amounts to 2.5M € with assistance from the 2M € State Investment Fund.
It is a considerable effort and I thank the Prefect and her services for the significant support of the State on this project.
It is also a question of requalify public space in Grand Case. This project is carried out concomitantly with the sanitation and drinking water works that will be carried out in the coming 18 months. Among the priorities, project management work has been launched for the total renovation of the boulevard and the central car park.
At the exit of the village, the Community is in the process of redoing entirely the Plateau sports Savannah. Sports associations, young people in the sector will be able to take advantage of this new fully equipped infrastructure that will be delivered in February.
A space dedicated to the parking of vehicles will be created in the adjoining zone which serves at the same time the sports plate, a school and a post office. Fifty parking spaces will be materialized on a fully tarred space.
The Community also provides in this area the creation of a sports area of "street workout" and a closed public space intended to accommodate people 3ème age for their leisure.
We are also carrying out other term-length projects in this area, such as transformation of the Grand Case MJC where we are.
The demolition of the building will be carried out this year and we plan to create a brand new space on the horizon 2020, which will host an innovative structure dedicated to the promotion of art and cooking Saint-Martin.
In the medium term, I am also thinking of the development of the Savannah area.
We are planning the construction of a new college of 900 places, the construction of a sports hall that will replace the Omnisports hall of Galisbay and the creation of a medical and social center that will host the socio-medical structures that are sorely lacking in Saint-Jean. Martin today.
The reflection on these projects is already well advanced. I hope to be able to return to you later this year to discuss in more detail their achievement.
Here, dear friends, are the main lines of development that I wanted to present to you tonight for the area of Grand Case.
Achievements in the Quartier d'Orléans area
The projects I am talking about today are worked on, advanced, validated and funded. They are intended to improve the living environment of the inhabitants and to participate in the revival of the territory.
I am thinking of course of the basic leisure project of the fish pond just behind us, of which this new generation station is an integral part.
We placed ourselves inside the structure for practical and logistical issues, but in reality the project for Orleans District is much larger and extends to the mouth.
It includes the rehabilitation of the recently completed Spring Orléans sports plateau, the creation of a landscaped park and recreation around the fish pond, and the development of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) where we we find.
In recent months we have been working on the reconstruction of the Thelbert CARTI stadium. An architect is commissioned and has made his first programming.
With my Vice-Presidents, we wanted to rethink the whole of this infrastructure not only to accommodate sportsmen but also to provide public services of proximity to the inhabitants of Quartier d'Orléans.
Our ambition for this site is to pool services to the population, developing the House of Services to the public which is a great success, and to provide a cultural and educational structure for our young people.
Of course, all this will not be done on 2019. The most urgent phase for this year is to make the football field operational again.
Regarding the college of Quartier d'Orléans, we set ourselves the goal in partnership with the teams responsible for the reconstruction of the National Education, to seize the opportunity for a renovation / reconstruction of this school equipment.
5 million euros will be involved in this transaction on 2 years. We are trying to program the start of this project for 2019.
Finally, ladies and gentlemen presidents of association, I wish to renew my confidence and announces you that the 2019 call for projects for the city contract was published yesterday.
Together with my colleague Sofia CARTI, we are counting on you this year to be a force for proposals, especially for our youth and their access to employment or entrepreneurship.
A word about the station Organica, which was built by the MSE group and will be inaugurated next May.
Quartier d'Orléans is fortunate to be equipped with a very innovative station, capable of treating 18 000 equivalent inhabitants, from the border of Belle Plaine to Grand Case L'Espérance. The station is already in operation, it processes about 9000 equivalent inhabitants, which leaves us room for improvement for the years to come.
The Community and its Water Establishment have chosen the ORGANICA solution, which is an excellent treatment system, and which will above all enable us to achieve operating savings while respecting the environmental standards for wastewater discharge.
The station will be a place of educational discovery for the Schoolchildren and the general public who will be able to come to discover this innovative concept which consists in using plants for the water treatment.
Through this initiative, we want to make users and children aware of the importance of water treatment and the sustainable development of our territory.
This is a very promising achievement, as it aims to attract the curiosity and interest of the population and allow us as an institution to value our environmental policy.
Achievements in the Marigot area
First of all, we have to complete, or even launch in some cases, infrastructure repairs.
I think of public lighting which has been temporarily rehabilitated to respond to the emergency, but despite the ongoing intervention of our services and our provider is still a problem.
The Marigot network has been deeply damaged by marine submersion, resulting in recurrent breakdowns.
To modernize the entire network, we will launch in 2019 a global energy performance market for which we have reserved more than 3 million euros for the next 3.
I am also thinking of Port la Royale Marina which deserves a real facelift.
In the medium term, we will launch a major restructuring program for the Marina as part of a public-private partnership to make it an essential space in the heart of Marigot.
In the meantime, as part of the release of DSP, the Community will carry out repair work on the deck and public spaces in the coming months for more than 1 million euros.
Of course, in Saint-Martin, one problem may hide another: post-Irma repair requires heavy work on infrastructure that goes well beyond a simple "brushstroke".
The mastery of work is at work to prepare this overall rehabilitation of the Marina, but in the meantime - because the state of abandonment is no longer bearable - we will temporarily develop the wharves.
I know that some have criticized the project of changing deck boards and putting synthetic turf ... This is a temporary option that will meet the needs while waiting to do better.
The operators of this sector have waited long enough, and I now wish to accelerate so that the Marina is as welcoming as possible for the next tourist season.
With regard to the Marigot market, we will launch by February the construction of a new space for Lolos and shops.
We will relocate the occupants in furnished modules. This small village will be located between the statue of the market and the fish market. There will be 14 restaurants equipped with kitchens and surrounded by shaded tables, 3 bars, storage space. We will also install 6 stores arranged in the continuity of the ferry terminal.
My priority, and that of my team, is to be able to relocate the operators of the market so that they perpetuate their activity and thus be able to propose to the tourists a space arranged and welcoming for the next tourist season.
Before tackling new projects, I would like to send a message to landowners of Marigot.
I thank those who took heart to lead the rehabilitation of their property but I deeply regret the abandonment, sometimes voluntary, some land or homes at the expense of our history and the attractiveness of the territory.
The Community is there to support them, we will propose a dedicated program within a few weeks. In the absence of commitment on their part, the community will be obliged to sanction.
The reconstruction will therefore always be on the agenda of our shipyards in Marigot for 2019. Nevertheless, it is time to launch the first requalification work to revitalize the heart of the city.
During the 2018 year, we worked on developing reasonable, validated and short-term projects. They will be beneficial to the revival of the economy.
First of all simple but oh-necessary actions:
Thus, this year the first building site for the revitalization of Marigot will see the day around the place of the Tribunal and the Post Office.
This project consists, for about 400 000 euros, to extend the renovation not only to the platform in front of the court, but also to the Methodist church. The goal is to revive this central square in the heart of the city.
On the square itself, large trees will be planted, urban furniture will be installed and an awning will be built to shelter the public from the sun and bad weather. The biggest project concerns the Methodist church, whose Collectivité is in charge. We will give back its place to this historic building which will be completely renovated.
I would add that the tender for the restoration of Fort Louis will be launched this year.
In addition to the restoration of the building, we are leading a reflection on the tourism of the place with the installation of a reception building at the foot of the Fort to welcome and inform tourists.
The community will continue in 2019, the makeover of the rue de Hollande.
Initial work will focus on the intersection of the Howell Center and Hameau du Pont shopping centers, the widening of the Rue de Spring intersection and the development of a new pedestrian precinct in front of the Vanterpool stadium.
Of course, our ambition goes far beyond these urban works. We are working on it because economic health is closely dependent on public investment in Marigot.
In fact, I recently mentioned our wish to transform the Galisbay Omnisports Hall into a Spectacular for concerts and conferences and to have a dedicated place for big annual events. It is a very beautiful project that still requires a great effort of preparation and definition.
We want to make it a reality during this term of office, but I remain cautious because it requires above all important financing. I am convinced that St. Martin needs a structure like this. So we are working to make this project happen on the 2022 horizon.
Tonight I can tell you, all the yards in the community are open. We now have three years ahead of us to implement them and launch the construction of longer-term projects such as the Waterfront whose definition studies are underway. This project is supported by the Port of Galisbay which should launch the first tender 2019 end.
Achievements in the Sandy Ground area
If the development of Marigot and Grand Case is easier to predict, the future of Sandy Ground deserves special attention not only since IRMA but for several decades.
In recent days, I have listed the concrete projects that we and my team are carrying out for the social and economic development of the territory, with a focus on each neighborhood.
If our ambition is intact for Sandy Ground, I will not make any empty promise without having a clear roadmap for your neighborhood.
The events of last December proved that questions, worries and misunderstandings are growing.
I understand the concerns expressed these last 18 months. If it is sometimes difficult to answer, it's because the stakes are huge at Sandy Ground. We are convinced that the neighborhood's future depends on a more global and concerted reflection.
I suggest that we start together a new way of working to rethink your neighborhood.
This method, I want it constructive and shared to elaborate with you on the 6 months to come the new plan of development of your district and the roadmap of the work to carry out. I want to bring the neighborhood council, the Sandy Ground association representatives into a working group by March.
The main themes that will have to be tackled are housing or relocation, access to employment for young people that breaks with the school system and the living environment of the neighborhood.
For the good progress of these works of reflection that I wish regular, this consultation will be framed by a project manager that the Collectivité will put at your disposal.
I insist on a major point: this concerted method does not aim to get lost in unrealistic and utopian projects but on the contrary to work on the basis of projects, concrete and realistic, close to the needs of the inhabitants and in adequacy with the regulatory constraints of spatial planning.
Proximity and social cohesion, these are the two objectives that we set ourselves.
Moreover, the recent establishment of permanent urban planning and urban planning in neighborhoods to answer questions on reconstruction and explain the rules in force meet this objective.
Sandy Ground was the first area to benefit from these hotlines, and I know that many people came to learn from community teams. I would like to see these offices renewed regularly as needed, because it is important to do pedagogy, to explain, to repeat things so that the right information is disclosed and integrated by all. Too many untruths circulate here and there and alter the truth and wrongly damage the image of the Community.
Proximity also strengthened with the House of Services to the Public (MSAP) of Sandy Ground in function since beginning 2018. I think that bringing public service to the heart of the neighborhoods really helps our fellow citizens. It makes our young people work in civic service for social cohesion. With the MSAP, our goal has been achieved.
There is still some way to go. I am counting on your understanding and constructive participation in the Sandy Ground reclamation and improvement of your living environment.
Finally, a word about the City Contract which Sandy Ground is one of the priority neighborhoods with Quartier d'Orléans.
In 2018, several Sandy Ground associations have benefited from community grants including:
2019's call for projects was published this week. I encourage neighborhood associations to submit their proposals. Social cohesion undeniably passes through the associative fabric.
During the 2018 year, we worked on developing reasonable, validated and short-term projects. They will be beneficial to the economic and social recovery of Saint-Martin.
First of all simple but oh-necessary actions:
Here too, we want job opportunities to be opened for our young people in partnership with the integration associations.
This program is important to us and we are currently working on the drafting of the tender to quickly launch this partnership.
2019 will also see the realization of an urban development that will also be a meeting place for the inhabitants. This is a new public space located at the parking lot of the Albéric Richards stadium, at the entrance to your neighborhood. This project will have a twofold function: firstly, the beautification and flowering of the entrance to Sandy Ground, and secondly, the creation of a small landscaped square that will be of use to young people, the not so young, families .
Of course, the refurbishment of infrastructure will be topical for 2019 and 2020:
My goal, that of my team, you know it: to make Saint-Martin a prosperous and peaceful territorywhere it is good to live and work, and who offers his children a future worthy of the name.
We remain faithful to our methodology and our initial program, even if we have reviewed our ambitions taking into account the consequences of Irma.
Before closing this speech and sharing with you the glass of friendship to celebrate the New Year, let me take this opportunity to thank those who are with us to meet St. Martin:
Very nice year 2019 everyone!
Just a few words in English before concluding my speech.
First of all, I want to extend my best wishes of health, happiness and prosperity to the people of Grand Case, to our business professionals and the entire population of St Martin.
As I said, 2019 must be a year of achievements. 2018 allowed us to launch reconstruction projects, both public and private, and to prepare the foundations for economic development.
This work is done and we must go ahead and start building new projects. We have worked tirelessly to achieve these goals and we know that we will succeed.
My message for the new year is a message from my team to build a sustainable Saint-Martin for our people.
My message is a message of sharing with my people. We are working hard for the interest of St. Martin and I want to be clear for everybody.
As we say: When you throw stones at you, it's because you are a fruit full tree. Do not stoop down to their level by throwing back the stones, but throw them out of your fruit so you can inspire them to change their ways.
So, let's work together to build a modern and peaceful St. Martin, where our people can find their own way of life.
I wish you all the best! Happy new year to you all! Long live to our sweet saint-martin land!