Just one former property owner has not been paid for his house that was located where the Argyle International Airport is now located.
The homeowner remains uncompensated nine years after construction began at the airport, which will open on Tuesday.
The government has bought 142 homes, 460 vacant parcels of land, and has acquired 275 acres of land to build the airport, which is opening six years behind schedule and a further EC$400 million added to the national debt.
Rudy Matthias, head of the International Airport Development Company (IADC), the state-owned firm that built the EC$700 million airport, said the former homeowner has not been paid because they and the government have been unable to agree on a price and suggested that no compromise is in sight.
“Well, the prime minister talked about negotiation. This one is a little bit of negotiation because their price is here and ours is over there and there is no possibility at all of meeting,” Matthias told a ceremony at the airport on Wednesday, in which certificates of appreciation were presented to the former property owners.
“And I don’t think this one would ever meet. Perhaps, not until I am dead you will ever see the meeting of these two minds,” he said of the incomplete negotiations with the former property owners.
Matthias said that so far, the government has spent EC$58 million on homes and has paid EC$137 million for the airport site.
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