Despite angry opposition from Gov. Charles Turnbull, the U.S. House of Representatives this week endorsed a proposal from the V.I. Delegate to appoint a chief financial officer to oversee the territory’s spending. Del. Donna Christensen introduced the bill as a way to address the islands’ $1 billion debt. The Gov. and other government officials testified in Washington at a hearing on the bill this summer, arguing they were capable of managing the island’s finances. The bill was passed by the House on a voice vote, and still needs approval by the Senate and the President. It provides for the Governor to appoint the CFO, with approval from the legislature.
The gymnasium structure which will house classrooms for the upper grades at the St. John School is underway. The $1 million steel building is expected to be complete by March, according to Scott Crawford, co-administrator of the school which resulted from a merger of Pine Peace and the Coral Bay schools. The St. John Source reported the contractor on the project cut the road for the new building last week. The school is beginning fund raising now to pay for the construction, the paper reported. Eventually classrooms will also be built and the gym used for athletics. This school year, lower grades will continue to use the Pine Peace building, and high schoolers will attend classes at the Coral Bay School’s location at the Lumberyard in Cruz Bay.
A meeting between boat owners with moorings in Johnson Bay and the V.I. Planning and Natural Resources Department didn’t change anything this week. The government says the boaters have to go from the Coral Bay harbor. Letters will be sent giving owners, “A reasonable period to come in to compliance,” said the department’s enforcement chief, Lucia Francis, the St. John Source reported. She also chose 15 people attending the meeting to serve on a Coral Harbor boater’s committee, charged with developing a plan for moorings in Coral harbor. Ironically, the paper said, Francis told the committee they could recommend that mooring be allowed in Johnson Bay – from which they’re being evicted! ???
A 40-foot container of cement, plywood and foam insulation turned over Tuesday night, burying a portion of O’Connor’s Texaco Station. The container slid off its truck bed as driver James Jones was trying to turn onto the road leading to the Westin resort, according to a report by the St. John Source. The accident happened at about 7 p.m. and it was not until three hours later that firefighters, St. John Rescue volunteers and police managed to clean up the debris. At least one vehicle, at O’Connor’s, was damaged, but there were no people were injured as the container tipped over.
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.