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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, July 7, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesFEW RESIDENTS OFFER INPUT ON ECONOMIC PLAN

FEW RESIDENTS OFFER INPUT ON ECONOMIC PLAN

For a public hearing seeking input on planning, economic development and "all socioeconomic aspects of the community," in the words of Lauritz Mills, Wednesday night's meeting in Cruz Bay was strangely ill-attended. Particularly so since the Governor's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee, which called the hearing, will help direct millions of dollars in grants from the U.S. Economic Development Authority, an arm of the Commerce Department.
"One of the requirements for continued funding from the authority is that there must be a comprehensive economic plan for the territory," said Mills, acting Director of the Bureau of Economic Research. In putting together such a plan, the first since 1992, she said, "we're required to conduct four public hearings for residents to voice concerns and tell us what direction we should be heading, how things have changed in the area and what kind of planning is needed."
But little more than half a dozen residents showed up, even though Mills said the hearing was advertised on radio, in the newspapers and on community bulletin boards.
St. John resident Ray Joseph said he wandered into the meeting almost by accident.
"It's really a shortcoming that we don't have a dozen or 20 of the business people here, the significant merchants from Wharfside Village and Mongoose Junction," he said.
Most of those present were part of the Gateway Community Planning Committee, Mills said, which has been putting together a plan to relieve congestion in Cruz Bay.
"The Gateway committee represents a wide cross-section of the St. John community," Mills said. "I'm comfortable and confident that we were able to hear a wide variety of opinions and concerns."
She said among the issues raised by those who did attend were how the lack of parking in Cruz Bay has affected businesses, the need to progress on the Enighed Pond commercial port, and planning for Cruz Bay.
"I reminded them that Coral Bay has to be in the picture, too," Joseph said Thursday. "Several of us mentioned the marine aspect and pointed out how it was a windfall for Tortola in the past 10 years, developing marina facilities after Hurricane Hugo."
Mills said the hearings continue next week at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Legislative Conference Room on St. Thomas; at 7 p.m. on Oct. 18 in Frederiksted on St. Croix, in the Legislative Conference Room; and at 7 p.m. on Oct. 25 in Christiansted at the Florence William Public Library conference room.

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For a public hearing seeking input on planning, economic development and "all socioeconomic aspects of the community," in the words of Lauritz Mills, Wednesday night's meeting in Cruz Bay was strangely ill-attended. Particularly so since the Governor's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee, which called the hearing, will help direct millions of dollars in grants from the U.S. Economic Development Authority, an arm of the Commerce Department.
"One of the requirements for continued funding from the authority is that there must be a comprehensive economic plan for the territory," said Mills, acting Director of the Bureau of Economic Research. In putting together such a plan, the first since 1992, she said, "we're required to conduct four public hearings for residents to voice concerns and tell us what direction we should be heading, how things have changed in the area and what kind of planning is needed."
But little more than half a dozen residents showed up, even though Mills said the hearing was advertised on radio, in the newspapers and on community bulletin boards.
St. John resident Ray Joseph said he wandered into the meeting almost by accident.
"It's really a shortcoming that we don't have a dozen or 20 of the business people here, the significant merchants from Wharfside Village and Mongoose Junction," he said.
Most of those present were part of the Gateway Community Planning Committee, Mills said, which has been putting together a plan to relieve congestion in Cruz Bay.
"The Gateway committee represents a wide cross-section of the St. John community," Mills said. "I'm comfortable and confident that we were able to hear a wide variety of opinions and concerns."
She said among the issues raised by those who did attend were how the lack of parking in Cruz Bay has affected businesses, the need to progress on the Enighed Pond commercial port, and planning for Cruz Bay.
"I reminded them that Coral Bay has to be in the picture, too," Joseph said Thursday. "Several of us mentioned the marine aspect and pointed out how it was a windfall for Tortola in the past 10 years, developing marina facilities after Hurricane Hugo."
Mills said the hearings continue next week at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Legislative Conference Room on St. Thomas; at 7 p.m. on Oct. 18 in Frederiksted on St. Croix, in the Legislative Conference Room; and at 7 p.m. on Oct. 25 in Christiansted at the Florence William Public Library conference room.