Crown Point residents seek legal advice on airport expansion project

If the gov­ern­ment does not hold true to the many promis­es it made when it first met with Crown Point prop­er­ty own­ers af­fect­ed by the ANR Robin­son Air­port ex­pan­sion project, the res­i­dents will take le­gal ac­tion.

So said Rhon­da Hack­ett, chair­per­son of the Pro­vide Equiv­a­lent Eq­ui­table Com­pen­sa­tion for Every­one(PEECE).

 

PEECE was cre­at­ed by some of the res­i­dents af­fect­ed by the Gov­ern­ment's com­pul­so­ry ac­qui­si­tion of 53 acres of their land to build a new ter­mi­nal and sup­port­ing in­fra­struc­ture.

Speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence at Sig­nal Hill on Mon­day, Sep­tem­ber 16, Hack­ett said the res­i­dents are tired of be­ing "dis­re­spect­ful", "dis­re­gard­ed" and "aban­doned."

This af­ter they were is­sued Sec­tion 4 Le­gal No­tices which were pub­lished in the Trinidad and To­ba­go Gazette on Sep­tem­ber 6.

The no­tices give the Gov­ern­ment the le­gal au­thor­i­ty to en­ter the res­i­dents' prop­er­ties, take the land and be­gin con­struc­tion of the new air­port.

 

Hack­ett said the way the land ac­qui­si­tion process has tak­en place is not in res­i­dents' best in­ter­est and vowed," There will be no set­tle­ment be­fore move­ment."

Asked about the group's next op­tion, she said they have been speak­ing with a lawyer.

"We have been speak­ing with a lawyer ...but hope we do not have to go that route ....be­cause the Gov­ern­ment will ho­n­our their promis­es."

She said Gov­ern­ment's ac­tion is dri­ving the af­fect­ed res­i­dents to "va­grancy" as none of the three op­tions first pre­sent­ed to res­i­dents re­main on the ta­ble.

She said none of the three op­tions- mon­ey, land swap and land with mon­ey, are no longer on the ta­ble and the Gov­ern­ment is "sim­ply pre­pared to hand peo­ple a cheque."

The gov­ern­ment has giv­en the res­i­dents un­til Feb­ru­ary 2020 to va­cate their prop­er­ties.

The To­ba­go House of As­sem­bly has of­fered emo­tion­al and psy­cho­log­i­cal sup­port to the res­i­dents.

Reporter: Camille Mc Eachnie

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