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Jun 27, 2017

Negotiations open but funds are limited, says C.E.O.

The use of the land, according to Gentle, is not a primary concern for the compensation payment. C.E.O. Gentle reiterated the Government’s willingness to continue negotiations and avoid a trip to the courts, but maintained that the Castillo family cannot take advantage of that generosity.

 

Errol Gentle, C.E.O., Ministry of Works

“It has to be in the region of what the Government evaluator has evaluated that land for. Now I know and I read the story – the lawyer is talking about they were doing mining and all of that; that is neither here nor there – I can’t say or do anything about that. The thing is we are looking at the land as is, the market value of the land and that is at the Ministry of Works as well; our evaluation as a matter of fact wasn’t far off from the final evaluation that was approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources. It is not that the Ministry of Works is not discussing or wouldn’t want before the opening of this bridge to have everything settled. As I mentioned before, all of the other landowners have been compensated; it is unfortunate that Mr. Castillo, yes, has been conducting mining operations on his land for a period of time and I think that is the reason their value is so high because they are looking at whatever income they will lose, but that has nothing to do with us. We evaluate what is there, the land, the parcel.”

 

Reporter

“So you welcome the offer by Mr. Neal to sit down, get this done and get a decent offer on the table so that you don’t have to be taken to court?”

 

Errol Gentle

“As I mentioned we have been discussing before, we will continue to discuss. But I will say right now: if the lawyer is insisting that they are claiming eight million dollars, then I don’t see how myself or even the Ministry of Natural Resources would be able to agree on a price like that; I don’t see how.”

 

Reporter

“I understand that but at the same time I am only asking if continued negotiation is preferable to legal action?”

 

Errol Gentle

Errol Gentle

“Certainly, certainly. We have always had very good working relatons with the Castillos, especially, well not Mr. Felix; he is out of the country – but especially the nephew, Gian Castillo; we have always had very good working relations with him.”

 

As we reported, the new bridge, depending on weather conditions, will be briefly opened for testing for about a week, but inauguration is scheduled for the end of July to allow for final work to be done.

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