Having valued her property at $800,000, one Crown Point resident affected by the ANR Robinson International Airport expansion project is disgruntled at the amount of money that the National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (Nidco) is willing to pay her to relocate. The airport project has been estimated at $1.2 billion, including $300 million allocated for the land acquisition process.
Speaking with Newsday on Monday during a press conference, Beverly Roberts, 60, said a valuator visited and priced her property at $800,000 but in negotiation with Nidco, she was offered less than half that amount.
She recalled: “When I met with Nidco, they told me that they cannot offer me that amount because of the age of the house. They said that they were willing to give me just a little over $300,000 and I said to them that I was not willing to accept anything less than the $800,000 as I am now a retiree and I cannot go to the bank as they would not offer me any money. With that, they asked if they offered me $10,000 on what was being offered... I said no, I cannot accept it. I did not take the offer and I left.”
Roberts, a member of the PEECE (Provide Equivalent Equitable Compensation for Everyone) movement, said she is willing to relocate but only if fair compensation is offered.
PEECE chairman Rhonda Hackett said the group has been receiving complaints similar to that of Roberts. She noted that while the government claims that a number of residents have accepted compensation, negotiations are still ongoing as residents are dissatisfied with what is being offered for their properties.
“All I am seeing is pauperism and homelessness; a lot of these residents are retired or not in position to get a mortgage, yet the cost of the house and land at the relocation site (Shirvan) is valued at $1.2 million, what is to become of these residents?”
Hackett said she has met Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis on several occasions to discuss the situation, but the meetings have not yielded any real results. She once again described the treatment being meted out to residents as “totally inhumane and unfair.”