The 06 SEPTEMBER 2017, the island of St. Martin was devastated by Hurricane Irma. In a few months, the Territorial Collective has undertaken major clearing and cleaning of public spaces, in order to restore the territory and start rebuilding.

Today, Saint-Martin has found a welcoming face. The reconstruction of hotels and tourist sites is on track. Many tourist activities can again be practiced on the island. The hotel Saint-Martin will be able to welcome this next season (November 2018) about 800 rooms (hotels - Guest Houses - Villa and Rbnb). Our restaurants and shops are gradually reopening their doors and our beaches are ready to welcome the public.

Through its Phoenix reconstruction plan, the Collectivité de Saint-Martin has launched the burial work of the electrical and digital networks, and works on the rehabilitation of public lighting throughout the territory. The reconstruction of 18 schools is underway, as is the rehabilitation of sports facilities.

While the 2018 year is entirely dedicated to cleaning and rebuilding damaged areas, the community of Saint-Martin and its elected officials work tirelessly to lay a solid foundation for economic development. Thus, a thorough work is done to develop the development plan of Saint-Martin, which will support the economic recovery already begun.

Friendly Island awaits you, discover its many assets!
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IRMA : The latest information from the community

2018-11-22 Reconstruction: a CAUE architect available to the public

The community of Saint-Martin informs you that a consulting architect of the Council of Architecture of Town Planning and Environment (CAUE) will be in Saint-Martin to advise the people who need information for their project of reconstruction or construction every last Friday of the month.

The permanence will be open on friday 23 november 2018, from 9 hours 30 to 12 hours, in the premises of the new administrative city of the community (Planning and Urban Planning Department), rue Fayel in Concordia.

This consulting architect is at the service of the population, his advice is free. Do not hesitate to take advantage of this public service.

2018-11-15 Comfort of the banks of the Cul de Sac pontoon

The Collectivité has carried out sand encroachment work on the banks of Cul de Sac Bay. The purpose of this work was to clear access to the Pinel pontoon frequently used by ferry boats carrying passengers to the tourist island.

The site consisted of laying stones to consolidate the soil through compaction of aggregates and sand. The sand deficit on the site caused by the intensive cleaning of Sargassum algae by construction machinery a few weeks ago had made the implementation of this work necessary and urgent.

2018-11-15 Simplified urban planning rules to facilitate reconstruction

Reorganized after the passage of hurricane Irma, under the aegis of the vice-president Steven Patrick, the service of the Spatial Planning and Town Planning intervenes on several axes of work. The issuance of land use permits is one of the community services most in demand during this period of reconstruction. Vice President Steven Patrick gave some figures at the November 14 territorial council meeting on the issuance of building permits. Thus, from 6 September to 31 December 2017, 111 Building Permit, 95 prior statements (DP) and 3 permit will be demolished.

The new planning rules introduced early 2018 facilitated reconstruction by simplifying administrative procedures. Thus, 439 prior Irma declarations (DPI) were granted to St. Martin's in 2018. It should be noted that 4 planning permission and 419 planning certificates have also been issued. Since the 1er January 2018, 117 building permits and 108 prior statements have been granted by the community.

The Urban Planning Police created after Irma has on its side carried out more than 500 controls on the ground of the reconstruction. This new police plays a role of control but it is also a force of advice and accompaniment with the Saint-Martinois wishing to rebuild or regularize their property. "It is precisely the work done at this very moment by the town planning police who go to meet families to advise them in their administrative procedures of regularization or reconstruction," said the vice-president, in plenary .

2018-10-25 Visit Presidents of the association Régions de France

Presidents Daniel Gibbs received in the community yesterday afternoon the President of Regions of France, Mr. Hervé Morin and President Renaud Muselier who make a visit to the West Indies, accompanied by Mr. Alfred Marie-Jeanne, President of the territorial collectivity of Martinique. During this meeting, President Gibbs had with him his 1ère Vice-President, Valérie Damaseau, in charge of Human Development, his 3e Vice-President Annick Pétrus, in charge of Education, Vocational Training and Social Affairs , and Mrs. Marie-Dominique Ramphort, in charge of Administration and Finance.

In his welcome address, President Daniel Gibbs emphasized the 5 major projects of the community dealing with skills in the regions: vocational training, the reconstruction of school buildings, the revival of sustainable tourism, economic development and relations with Europe and the use of European funds.

The Presidents of the Regions of France came to see for themselves the impact of hurricane Irma, were able to visit the polyvalent high school of the Northern Islands Wednesday evening, in the presence of the rector Mostafa Fourar and the principal Jeanine Hamlet, as well as the Beach Hotel, example of a large format hotel under reconstruction.

On Thursday October 25, the presidents were received at the port of Galisbay by the director of the site Albéric Ellis, who presented them the stakes of the sizing of this essential infrastructure for the economic future of the territory. The presidents were then taken to the Grand Case tourist village, where the reconstruction of the remarkable built heritage is a priority for the community. The visit continued on the site of Anse Marcel high place of local tourism strongly impacted by the hurricane and Soualiga college of Cul de Sac, example of destruction on the public building.

The visit ended on the site of the eastern bay where the presidents were able to measure the tourist potential of Saint Martin with the recent reconstruction of Bikini Beach. (Attached are some photos of the visits).

Present during this trip:
Minister Hervé MORIN, President of Régions de France and President of the Normandy Region,
Mr Renaud MUSELIER, President of the South Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur Region,
Mr. Alfred MARIE-JEANNE, President of the Overseas Commission of Regions of France and President of the territorial collectivity of Martinique.
Mr Jules NYSSEN, General Manager of Régions de France.

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Minister Hervé MORIN, President of Régions de France,
Mr Renaud MUSELIER, President of the South Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur Region,
Mr. President of the Overseas Commission of Regions of France and President of the territorial collectivity of Martinique, dear Alfred MARIE-JEANNE
Ladies and gentlemen, elected officials of the Executive Council,
Ladies and Gentlemen, in your ranks and qualities,

I welcome you to Saint-Martin and I want to thank you sincerely for being here.

We need to continue to talk more, on the merits of the files, the reconstruction in St. Martin because if life starts again, the situation is still critical.

You could have, on your arrival, a glimpse of the extent of the disaster, thirteen months after IRMA. Many buildings are still in the state, I will not insist on the figures, findings, reports: the short film that you will see earlier summarizes the trauma suffered, and no comments ...
I would add a disturbing aspect, which I repeat to all my interlocutors, here in Paris, in Brussels, and who can not be seen: St. Martin has emptied some of his forces. About 7000 people reportedly left the territory in September 2017.
Nationally, this would represent an exodus of more than 12 million French. Or the region Ile de France, as striped card!
A little more than 3000 people have returned for a year, but the net balance remains negative, we see it well in terms of enrollment, down from 10% to 15% over last year.
Worse, other talents are still likely to leave us if the economy does not restart ...
Working on the attractiveness of Saint-Martin, to bring back, and come, skills, public and private, will therefore be an imperative for me in the coming months.
I would like, here and now, to insist on five projects involving areas of expertise.

Because, we tend to forget it in Paris where we still consider ourselves a commune, Saint-Martin accumulates since its passage in overseas collectivity in 2007 competences of the State, a commune, a Department and a Region.

In other words, we can be considered, with our compatriots of Saint-Pierre-and-Miquelon and Saint-Barthélemy, as one of the smallest regions of France ...

The result is an increased responsibility for the Saint Martin Executive, which must implement difficult reforms - at the worst moment in the history of the island.

Put simply, before, we administered a commune. Today, I have to manage a country ...

1- First project: To resolutely promote professional training ...
The population of Saint Martin is characterized by its youth: a third of the inhabitants of the COM is less than 20 years, against a quarter in Metropolitan France.
Recall also that in 2014, the population with a higher education diploma represented only 14,5% of over 15 years, against 18,7% in Guadeloupe and 27,8% in mainland France.
Still in 2014, latest data available, alas! the unemployment rate reached 33,6% of the active population, 10 points higher than that found in Guadeloupe, three times the national average and nearly eight times the rate found in Saint-Barthélemy.
It was then, and very few people know this sad national record, the French territory with the highest rate-I would say the worst rate of unemployment! ...
The reconstruction has created hiring especially in the BTP, but we have a significant delay to catch up. The population of Saint-Martin must be more, and better, formed.
It must therefore be able to use the time devoted to reconstruction to train for the jobs of tomorrow, and acquire a "culture of risk", especially to deal with climate phenomena. Hundreds and hundreds of people will thus need, in the months and years to come, training and long-term ...
For that, the optimal mobilization of the 15 2019-2022 Government Plan (0,7 Mds arrow on the DCOM) appears thus vital for the formation and the professional retraining of thousands of Saint-Martinois.
We have recently received a letter informing us that the State contribution for the vocational training of jobseekers could reach € 7,2 € under the "Ultramarine Pact in Skills", which is just our key to demographic distribution within the Overseas ... This is a first step forward ...
In addition, I think that we should design, for Saint-Martin, an innovative device targeting the training of local executives of high level. This was done in New Caledonia, with the program "400 cadres"; then in Mayotte, with the device "future frameworks" established by the illustrious Law on Real Equality Overseas last year.
Why not do it in Saint-Martin, with and for the Saint-Martinois? It would be a measure of efficiency and common sense. It would also be a symbolically important initiative: more than ever, in these days, my people need proof of confidence and pride.
Hopefully, the proceedings will be rushed and the means will follow.

2- Second project: Relaunching sustainable and quality tourism ...

In the coming months, we want to achieve progress in PLF and PLFSS, in order to strengthen our "vital" economic sectors, such as Tourism ...
Because the resumption of tourist activity is still in its infancy.
The income from the tourist tax, for example, still represents only 14% of pre-IRMA amounts;
A little more than 18% of hotel insurance benefits still remain to be paid;
Work is underway but by the end of this year, we should have recovered only a third of our ante-IRMA hotel capacity.
This is to say if the way is still long ...

In the highly competitive context of social dumping in the Dutch part of the island, we must therefore further strengthen the competitiveness of our hotel and catering businesses.
Thus, in terms of exemptions from social security contributions, the end of the LODEOM system should not make Saint-Martin switch to common law.

At the same time, an increase in the tax exemption rate for hotel renovation would boost the sector.

But Saint-Martin's tourism will not be able to truly be revived without increased efforts in terms of environment lato sensu, because to be attractive, we must erase the stigmata of the cyclone and clean, literally, St. Martin.
If a considerable effort has been made since last September 6 by our community with more than 15M € invested in the cleaning of the public domain, we must imperatively increase the reprocessing capacities of our waste, and we hope to benefit, in this optics, from significant help from ADEME.

At the same time, the rehabilitation of sanitation and drinking water supply networks must be accelerated: this is an urgent necessity for us because the networks are old and under-sized and must be rehabilitated as quickly as possible.

While the Prime Minister announced the 29 last August a plan of 5 Billion euros, I hope we will quickly find solutions on this priority issue.

3- Third project: Accelerating the reconstruction of schools

This is another overriding priority for COM Services.
Much has already been done by my teams, contrary to what some statements insinuate: I speak here of some populist impulses or the usual moralistic sentences, alas very often coming from people who were very far from Saint-Martin in this 6 September 2017 ...
Already, more than 10 M. € of works (demolition, security, then reconstruction) were engaged by the COM, allowing a return to school under generally acceptable conditions.
We must now accelerate the procedures, in order to consume as soon as possible the 15 M. € investment credits decided at the last Interministerial Committee, last March: they will begin rebuilding a college with a capacity of 900 home students, a total cost of 21 M. €.
It will be necessary to go even further, so much the needs are important: you will have the opportunity to see it tomorrow during the visit of the high school, in full rehabilitation ...
And we are still hoping, at the end of these first loans, for a more ambitious commitment by the State in terms of public investments. The budgetary effort of the Nation that we wish for will be, at the level of the state budget, minimal. For us, it will be decisive, I would say even vital: it is the future of our children.

4- Fourth project: Inventing a new economic development for Saint-Martin ...
We obviously share the ambitions of the President of the Republic, aiming to carry out several projects of substance to ensure, in the future, a more resilient and more prosperous island.
Because we want to rebuild faster, but also better, by valuing our many youth and promoting innovation: Saint-Martin, with the dedicated tools, has the vocation to become a land of excellence, for example by developing R & D in tropical building material and anti-seismic and anticyclonic materials.
We also want to accelerate the modernization and development of the Port of Galisbay: on this last point, it is a vital project for the supply of our compatriots; it is also a question of national interest, of geo-economic independence compared to Sint-Maarten.
But, for that, we will need, massively, of credits of investment for the decade to come:
(i) by ourselves, thanks to the room for maneuver we will have found, and we are working on this by optimizing our operating expenses and controlling the evolution of our payroll;
(ii) thanks to the allocations from the European Union, which we will negotiate for the 2021-2027 period once we have obtained the quality of managing authority;
and, of course, with the state and its operators, in the name of national solidarity: because for us, in Saint-Martin, national solidarity is not a "dirty word" and must prevail, here as elsewhere in the world. other territories of the Nation.
It is therefore important that the State undertakes to mobilize in the regions, and therefore with us !, the credits of the Grand Investment Plan of 57 Mds. € (100 000 times the GDP of Saint Martin!). We will need it a lot, and particular attention will be paid to the areas of ecological and energy transition, digital technology, health and, as I just mentioned, vocational training.
At the same time, Saint-Martin can not be permanently excluded from the ambitious Action Coeur de Ville program run by the CDC (to renovate Marigot, its historic center, its seafront-including its two marinas).

5- Fifth project: Succeeding our meeting with Europe and with the management of European funds.

Let me also stress a very important point, which concerns in particular my fellow regional presidents in Martinique (Mr. President Marie-Jeanne), Guadeloupe and Guyana.
From December 2018, and for the first time in its history, the COM of Saint-Martin will fully assume its responsibilities as President of the Conference of Presidents of the Outermost Regions and the ARUP, for the benefit of the ultra-marine interests of the France and through a loyal and close partnership with the competent State Services ...
This is a real challenge for us.

In the immediate future, the priority will be to avoid "automatic decommitments", for lack of consumption of European credits, before the end of this year. It would be heartbreaking, when there are so many investment needs and training in our overseas, that millions of euros are lost, and ultimately benefit other states. I will meet very soon, in mid-November, the five other presidents of our outermost regions to find solutions.

In the coming months, at the time of the publication of the regulatory proposals for the post 2020 cohesion policy, I am also aware that the lobbying of the ORs will have to be amplified in Paris and in the European Parliament, in order to avoid the the application of certain measures harmful to our regions: this is, for example, the envisaged reduction in the maximum co-financing rate, which is supposed to fall from 85% to 70%.

At the same time, we will have to be vigilant in defending the gains of the regions in the face of attempts to "renationalise" surreptitiously the management of certain European funds after 2021. I know that, thanks to the action of the Regions of France and its President, we have been able to move forward recently with regard to the management of the EAFRD. I am hopeful that this renewed vigilance will help us win more fights ...

Finally, I will end with a point that is close to my heart, and I never missed an opportunity to challenge the Government on this matter when I was a member of your side: the absence of a branch of INSEE in Saint-Laurent. Martin.
In the absence of statistics, the community of Saint-Martin is little known. And little recognized as integral and constitutive component of the Republic.
- Little known: we do not have access to the informative data disclosed each year in the French overseas departments, by the INSEE Employment Survey. Meanwhile, the GDP of Saint-Martin (0,6 Md. €) is not even counted in the national GDP: in a word, for some senior government officials, we "cost" but do not "count".
- Little recognized, because, lack of objective statistics, undeniable and updated, our atypical territory, is the subject of all clichés, all phantasies ...
Because Saint-Martin and the Saint-Martinois suffer, and I would like to finish my speech on this point, of many received ideas, sometimes hurtful, which prevent us from advancing ...

While we are at the forefront of France against the American, Caribbean and Anglo-Saxon world, we sometimes have the unpleasant impression of being punished for what we are: a small territory that has just suffered one of the worst climatic cataclysms of history, half as big as Paris, eleven times less populated than Martinique, deprived of nickel and space industry. And, perhaps worse, not inclined to raise one's fist, brandish the threat of chaos and distil the myth of saving independence! ...
One example: Saint-Martin is said to be fiscally taxing. This cliché, repeated to the envy by some distinguished officials, is offensive. If the Saint-Martinois pay little tax, it is simply because they are poor: near the 2 / 3 of our tax residents have an annual tax income of less than 10 000 € per year; in Guadeloupe, it is half, in Metropolitan France, a quarter ... This is hardly surprising when one discovers that, again unlike some clichés, Saint-Martin is the third poorest community in France, after Mayotte and Wallis and Futuna, tied with Guyana.
With refined and up-to-date statistics, we could fight against these misconceptions, strengthen our credibility and attractiveness, and go further in our reconstruction and development projects.

I therefore hope, my dear colleagues, that this short stay in Saint-Martin will allow you to discover the realities, the specificities and the assets of our Friendly Island.
I take this opportunity to thank through your presence among us the regions, departments and municipalities who have shown their solidarity in Saint-Martin by making many donations. It was a precious support. Thank you.
Dear friends, we rely on your testimony, your support and your friendship.
Thank you.

2018-09-17 Reconstruction: A CAUE Architect Available to the Public

The community of Saint-Martin informs you that a consulting architect of the Council of Architecture of Town Planning and Environment (CAUE) will be in Saint-Martin to advise the people who need information for their project of reconstruction or construction every last Friday of the month.

The permanence will be open Friday 28 September 2018, from 9 hours to 12 hours, in the premises of the new administrative city of the community (Planning and Urban Planning Department), rue Fayel in Concordia.

This consulting architect is at the service of the population, his advice is free. Do not hesitate to take advantage of this public service.

2018-07-18 Reconstruction: a CAUE architect available to the public

The community of Saint-Martin informs you that a consulting architect of the Council of Architecture of Town Planning and Environment (CAUE) will be in Saint-Martin to advise the people who need information for their project of reconstruction or construction every last Friday of the month.

The permanence will be open Friday 27 July 2018, from 9 hours to 12 hours, in the premises of the new administrative city of the community (Planning and Urban Planning Department), rue Fayel in Concordia. The next permanence will take place on August 31 2018.

This consulting architect is present in Saint-Martin every last Friday of the month. His advice is free, do not hesitate to come and get the information you need.

2018-07-05 The end of the school year has come, work can begin!

Who remembers the state of schools after Irma's passage? Who can still think today that these establishments are in the same state as there are 10 months?

President Daniel Gibbs recalls that the 17 institutions that can accommodate students in the aftermath of Irma have all been repaired urgently so that the back to school can take place on 06 November 2017, 2 months after the hurricane. Emergency work for 2 millions of euros all the same, which will now leave room for major work during the summer, for an amount of 9,5 million.

For clarification, there is no need for an "over-the-counter" procedure to launch these repair projects (this procedure was also granted by the State for emergency work, until 31 December 2017), in accordance with to the legislation in force, the community has called for tenders to carry out all the work of the schools. These markets are ready, for obvious questions of student safety, it was just waiting for the end of the school year to start the sites.

It should be remembered that 95% of the buildings of the Community were damaged. Of these, the 20 schools on the island were all heavily impacted and 3 of them were destroyed: Nina Duverly Elementary School, Marigot, Emile Larmonie Elementary School and Soualiga College, at Cul de Sac. In fact, the past school year has been complicated and disrupted for all.

As a reminder, the only elementary schools that have completed the 2017-2018 school year with the implementation of rotating schedules are those of Sandy Ground: Jérôme Beaupère nursery school and Aline Hanson Elementary School. The community has been able to find solutions for other institutions. Note that the management of the school complex has finally agreed to the installation of 4 prefabricated rooms that will be set up this summer to not interfere with the school community. The Fondation de France will deliver 4 additional prefabricated rooms for September.

It is also important to note that the community did not receive "astronomical sums" for the reconstruction of its schools. On the contrary! The envelope of 33M € evaluated with the State and the DI-R for the reconstruction of the Saint-Martin school park was finally reduced to 15M €, during the Interministerial Meeting of March 2018. Recall that with this sum, the community is supposed to repair 17 schools and rebuild a college and two schools, while a single college 900 costs on average 20M € and a school on average 4M €.

The President of the Community and its Vice President in charge of Education Annick Pétrus have made it a priority to make every effort to ensure that the next September 2018 comes under optimal conditions.

This is a strong commitment communicated several times by the President and his Vice President, for which 9.5M € were released in the budget of the Collectivité. The objective is to proceed in July and August to the repairs and reconstructions that are required in the 17 schools still standing. The works will consist of the renovation of roofs, joinery, electricity, painting, fences. The community will be communicating soon about the work done in each school.

In terms of sports equipment, a rehabilitation program was launched under the aegis of the 1ère Vice President, Valérie Damaseau. The community has focused on the refurbishment of the sports hall at the Jean-Louis Vanterpool stadium, which will be ready for September, and which will be able to host school sports (basketball - volleyball - badminton - handball and footsal). The football stadium will be ready with a restoration of the ground and the restoration of the roof of the stands. The sports plateaus of the island will be delivered between September and November 2018. Following the mandatory building control and asbestos diagnosis phase, the Galisbay Omnisports Hall will have to be demolished. A first phase will be to demolish the roof in July.

President Daniel Gibbs and all the territorial council elected members warmly thank all the students and their families, but also the educational community for the understanding and patience they showed during this troubled school year. The President and his Vice President make every effort during the two months of vacation for the completion of these projects and a return to classes under the best auspices, Monday 03 September.

2017-12-19 Protocol between the State and the Community of Saint Martin

2017-12-13 Congratulations on an outstanding interview with President Daniel Gibbs

Dear Editor

Congratulations on an outstanding interview with President of the Community Daniel Gibbs. He has had many tirelessly since Irma struck, and his skills and leadership have been much appreciated.
What do you know, and what does it mean? President Gibbs was doing a few hours before Irma struck. My wife and I were at the shelter in the Savannah and were helped by the President of the United States. to the Savannah shelter.
While they were more or less hurricane preparations, they were a few days before the beginning of the term.

John Berglund

2017-12-06 A partnership between Air Caraïbes and the COM de Saint-Martin: Christmas festivities

Attached is the communication from the company Air Caraïbes, partner of the community and the Tourist Office of Saint-Martin for the organization of the great Christmas party on the Marigot Seafront on December 20.

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