The chief of resource management at the V.I. National Park said there should be no reason to worry about the cleanliness and safety of the island’s beaches, despite last week’s rain and winds. “We can say without much doubt our waters are just fine,” Rafe Boulon told the Virgin Islands Daily News. He said the National Park Service plans to conduct tests even though, “We don’t really have any reason, other than some sediment getting in, to believe that the water is contaminated.” On St. Croix, it’s a different story as sewer malfunctions caused some contamination. Inspectors for the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources also planned to conduct tests of beaches on St. Thomas Monday.
Despite the fact the island was kind of shut down from Tuesday on, due to Tropical Storm Jeanne ("The wind and rain machine"), some business did get done.
A 3-bedroom, 3-bath property in Chocolate Hole came off the Multiple Listing Service. The newly-constructed property was listed at $895,00, but if memory services, it’s not a completed project. In other words, a DIYer for $900K.
The biggest news is the listing of Coral Bay’s upscale Voyages de St. Jan. But instead of being offered as a commercial property, the owners are emphasizing the fact there’s a 4-bedroom, 3-bath residence on the floors above the restaurant. The listing asks $2.95 million for the property which an optimist could buy as a home and then hope to lease, or even operate, the restaurant business below. There was one other new listing, too, a 12-year-old 3-bedroom, 2-bath with pool property in Enighed.
Great Cruz Bay’s S. Donald Sussman was among those quoted in a New York Times story about the Virgin Islands’ tax break designed to encourage new businesses to locate in the islands and hire employees. The Times reports federal agents have been questioning workers and neighbors about when the last time the owners were in residence. The newspaper reported the current IRS inquiry into the EDC program has allowed some island residents to “dodge an estimated $400 million in federal income taxes.”
Sussman, a successful hedge fund manager, has 10 people helping him manage money in an office on St. Thomas.
The edge of Tropical Storm Jeanne passed to the south Tuesday night and Wednesday. The government is hoping to have schools reopen Monday. However, at least a few classrooms probably will still be closed while workers shovel mud and debris resulting from the torrents which rained down on the islands at mid-week. Department of Public Works crews have been attending to roads and downed trees.
The Commissioner of Tourism issued a statement saying the islands “remain open for business and continues to welcome visitors.” Cleanup efforts are expected complete by the weekend, said Pamela Richards. All airports, seaports and govern ment offices are open, she said.
The V.I. National Park in St. John has dropped its admission charge at Trunk Bay for Saturday. It’s the Park’s way of observing a nationwide Public Lands Day. “It’s a good time to bring the family and enjoy the snorkel trail,” Beulah Dalmida-Smith, the Park’s spokeswoman, told the St. John Source. While children under 16 are always free at Trunk Bay, adults are charged $4. Dalmida-Smith said the Park has dropped its admission charge to visit the Annaberg Plantation. The money collected did not justify the cost of a fee collector, she said.