Thirty-two of the persons that the government owes for land acquired to build the Argyle International Airport will receive their compensation soon.
On Wednesday on NBC Radio, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said he has asked the Director General of Finance and Planning “to bring some near finality to persons who are owed monies for lands at Argyle”.
Several persons are still owed for lands and other property that the state acquired for construction of the airport, which opened in Feb. 2017, after almost a decade of construction.
There are 32 persons whose owners of lands or property was verified.
“There are some people [who] still haven’t presented their deeds. So until that is clarified, I really don’t know who to pay,” Gonsalves said.
“And I, we, are going to make payments to persons … we have approved at Cabinet that we’re going to make a payment of immediate cash outlay of $9.43 million,” Gonsalves aid.
He, however, said that the maximum pay-out to any individual will be EC$500,000.
“But those remaining with deeds, there are 32. Eight persons have a valuation greater than $500,000 so they will get up to $500,000 immediately and the rest of that money, we will pay in five-year bonds with interest in the normal sinking fund rate in circumstances like this.”
The prime minister said that the list includes 24 persons with property values of less than $500,000 — ranging from as low as $8,000 to $450,000, which will be paid off.
“I pay off those 24 and for those 32 persons, the immediate cash outlay being $9.43 million. I want to get that remaining set of persons who have monies still to get.
“I should point out that interest has been accruing on the monies which we owe so persons, individuals, they mustn’t feel that the persons are hard done … they [are] having interest on the money but, of course, it’d be good to get your money in your hand, clearly,” Gonsalves said.