When he announced Diageo PLC has decided to build a $165 million run factory on St. Croix, Gov. John deJongh called the deal, "The greatest single financial step forward that we have taken in this territory in 50 years.”
It will create a $100 million-a-year industry. “This will bring jobs and a tremendous future stream of revenue, a long-term source of funds that will go far towards solving many of the challenges we face as a Territory,” he added in a statement. The Governor said it will mean millions in rum excise tax revenue to the territory and 40 full-time jobs.
The factory will be complete in 2011, with the VI’s helping to finance construction.
He’s already figuring out how to spend the money. According to the Virgin Islands Daily News, de Jongh said the new rum revenues will help fund the government’s pension system, the costs of building a new school on St. John, and rep;airing local roads.
Diageo produces rum under the Captain Morgan brand, in addition to other adult beverages including Johnnie Walker, Jose Cuervo, and Tanqueray.
2 thoughts on “Rum factory to pay for St. John school”
I guess I’m in the minority but I just don’t see building a school on St. John as cost effective or providing a substantial benefit. The commute from St. John to Ivanna Eudora Kean is not a considerable hardship – certainly none more so than faced by many students elsewhere in the U.S.
If the existing public V.I. schools were in great shape, and the teachers salaries on par with their stateside counterparts when factoring in cost of living, then I might be more inclined to think a high school on St. John is worth the investment.
The windfall in tax revenue from the Diageo rum factory would be far better utilized if spent on addressing the dire needs of the existing schools – including attracting and retaining qualified educators.
If the needs of the St. John high-schoolers are a high priority, then a far more cost effective solution would be to invest in distance learning capabilities so that St. Johnian teens would have the option of reducing the number of days they have to commute to Red Hook. High School Distance Learning programs are successful in the states and there is no reason to believe they can’t work in the V.I.
YUCK! All the crappy brands! Nothin’ beats Cruzan and we here in San Diego, (at least in my neck of the woods) do our damnedest to support St.Croix from far away, at least until we make our annual pilgrimage to our favorite island in the world! We have it imported and stocked especially for us.
Here’s hoping this new distillery won’t hamper the production of our favorite.
Sad to know Cruzan sold out to the biggy tho.