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HomeNewsArchivesSKYLINE DRIVE GARBAGE BINS TO GO APRIL 7

SKYLINE DRIVE GARBAGE BINS TO GO APRIL 7

March 27, 2001 — After a year of notifications and pleas to the V.I. government, property re-surveys, and boulders moving in the night, the garbage bins on Valdemar A. Hill Sr. (Skyline) Drive will be removed April 7 after Gov. Charles W. Turnbull intervened in a property dispute.
Acting Department of Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood made the announcement in a statement Tuesday and asked that residents place their garbage elsewhere. The Estate Louisenhoj property is owned by Mrs. Christine Wheaton.
Bill Otto, who represents the Wheaton estate's real estate holdings on St. Thomas, said Tuesday that attempts to get the garbage bins removed began about a year ago, when Wheaton was on island and became aware they were on her property.
"She was concerned that the government had apparently decided to use the land without notification of any sort," Otto said. "In addition, she was liable for taxes on the property, and as you can imagine, having a garbage dump on it did not exactly enhance its value."
Otto said a re-survey of the property was carried out and government officials were notified on several occasions about the situation, including a September letter sent by Wheaton attorney William McConnell asking that the bins be removed. Copies of the letter were sent to Gov. Charles W. Turnbull; Franz Christian, Police commissioner; Wayne Callwood, then Public Works assistant commissioner; Mark Biggs, Property and Procurement commissioner; Ira Hobson, Housing, Parks and Recreation commissioner; Andrew Rutnik, Licensing and Consumer Affairs commissioner; Iver Stridiron, attorney general; and Wheaton.
Nothing happened at the site until Feb. 4, when nearly two dozen large boulders mysteriously appeared around the garbage bins, blocking access to them. Callwood vowed to get to the bottom of the boulder incident.
McConnell then owned up to having the boulders moved in order to "put the public on notice that this is private property," he said at the time. Callwood later denied any knowledge of the September letter.
It was not until a meeting between Wheaton and Turnbull on March 13 that the stalemate was broken.
"Gov. Turnbull was most cordial and cooperative," Otto said. "He assured Mrs. Wheaton that in light of the facts concerning the property, the dumpsters would be removed."
Otto added that the government agreed that other trash around the site such as used car batteries, old refrigerators and the like, will be carted off and the site returned to its pre-dump state.
Callwood's office on Tuesday referred calls regarding the Skyline Drive garbage bins to St. Thomas-Water Island Administrator Louis Hill, who was unavailable for comment. Government House spokeswoman Rina Jacobs McBrowne said only that the government was informed it was not the owner of the property "so the bins were not supposed to be there. (Wheaton) asked that they be removed and went through the proper channels."

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March 27, 2001 -- After a year of notifications and pleas to the V.I. government, property re-surveys, and boulders moving in the night, the garbage bins on Valdemar A. Hill Sr. (Skyline) Drive will be removed April 7 after Gov. Charles W. Turnbull intervened in a property dispute.
Acting Department of Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood made the announcement in a statement Tuesday and asked that residents place their garbage elsewhere. The Estate Louisenhoj property is owned by Mrs. Christine Wheaton.
Bill Otto, who represents the Wheaton estate's real estate holdings on St. Thomas, said Tuesday that attempts to get the garbage bins removed began about a year ago, when Wheaton was on island and became aware they were on her property.
"She was concerned that the government had apparently decided to use the land without notification of any sort," Otto said. "In addition, she was liable for taxes on the property, and as you can imagine, having a garbage dump on it did not exactly enhance its value."
Otto said a re-survey of the property was carried out and government officials were notified on several occasions about the situation, including a September letter sent by Wheaton attorney William McConnell asking that the bins be removed. Copies of the letter were sent to Gov. Charles W. Turnbull; Franz Christian, Police commissioner; Wayne Callwood, then Public Works assistant commissioner; Mark Biggs, Property and Procurement commissioner; Ira Hobson, Housing, Parks and Recreation commissioner; Andrew Rutnik, Licensing and Consumer Affairs commissioner; Iver Stridiron, attorney general; and Wheaton.
Nothing happened at the site until Feb. 4, when nearly two dozen large boulders mysteriously appeared around the garbage bins, blocking access to them. Callwood vowed to get to the bottom of the boulder incident.
McConnell then owned up to having the boulders moved in order to "put the public on notice that this is private property," he said at the time. Callwood later denied any knowledge of the September letter.
It was not until a meeting between Wheaton and Turnbull on March 13 that the stalemate was broken.
"Gov. Turnbull was most cordial and cooperative," Otto said. "He assured Mrs. Wheaton that in light of the facts concerning the property, the dumpsters would be removed."
Otto added that the government agreed that other trash around the site such as used car batteries, old refrigerators and the like, will be carted off and the site returned to its pre-dump state.
Callwood's office on Tuesday referred calls regarding the Skyline Drive garbage bins to St. Thomas-Water Island Administrator Louis Hill, who was unavailable for comment. Government House spokeswoman Rina Jacobs McBrowne said only that the government was informed it was not the owner of the property "so the bins were not supposed to be there. (Wheaton) asked that they be removed and went through the proper channels."