ORANJESTAD- There is much anger in especially the business community of St. Eustatius due to the closure of the harbour office and warehouse on what are considered crucial days before the end of the year.
Apart from the fact itself, the lack of proper communication on the matter is also irking many on the island. Various people arrived at the Harbour Office to be confronted with a simple post-it memo notifying customers of the closure on Friday.
While many people note they understand the need for rest and vacation of the employees at the Harbour Office, they are still not in agreement with the seemingly haphazard closing of the office which can be considered quite crucial to the island for logistical reasons.
The BES-Reporter contacted commissioner Derrick Simmons for a reaction. According to Simmons Government is looking into the matter, to see exactly what the situation is and how things can be ironed out. “There are more issues which are causing this, among other things the sickness of some employees”, said Simmons. According to the Commissioner another issue was not so much the Harbour Office, but also the fact that agents would at times not show up exactly on time, which would cause a loss of productive hours at the harbour and -at times- the availability of a Customs Officer.
Simmons also indicated that he was looking into the exact situation to establish if there is indeed a problem of a backup in shipments which have arrived, but have not been taken out as of yet, or that it is simply a matter of the unexpected closure before the end of the year.
As matters stand, businesses or consumer who do not get their shipments out on Thursday before noon, will have to wait all the way till Monday, January 2nd to receive their shipments. This may also impact the availability of items in the various supermarkets on the island.