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Sunday, June 26, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesEMERGENCY FUND HAS $400K WAITING TO BE SPENT

EMERGENCY FUND HAS $400K WAITING TO BE SPENT

More than $600,000 has flowed into the newly created Emergency Services Fund from the $1 surcharge added to V.I. Telephone Corp. customers' bills last year. But senators were told Wednesday that less than one-third of that amount has been spent. Only the 911 emergency telephone system has used up its entire allotment.
From April to September 2000, $241,966 went into the fund, according to Office of Management and Budget Director Ira Mills. Another $366,785 was collected from Vitelco from October 2000 through February 2001, Mills told a hearing of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Planning and Environmental Protection.
911 has used its allotment of $65,393. But other agencies benefiting from the fund -– police, emergency medical, and fire services -– have been slow to take advantage of it. The V.I. Police Department has yet to spend a dime.
Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull detailed the spending, which included a little more than $100,000 spent by Fire Services.
EMS Director Dr. Herbert Saunders told senators his agency has used only about $19,000 of its $181,119 allotment because the bill creating the fund designated hospitals as the recipient rather than the Health Department, which oversees EMS.
Saunders said going through the proper channels to obtain money has taken some time, but that the emergency fund will be used eventually to buy more ambulances for the territory, among other items.

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More than $600,000 has flowed into the newly created Emergency Services Fund from the $1 surcharge added to V.I. Telephone Corp. customers' bills last year. But senators were told Wednesday that less than one-third of that amount has been spent. Only the 911 emergency telephone system has used up its entire allotment.
From April to September 2000, $241,966 went into the fund, according to Office of Management and Budget Director Ira Mills. Another $366,785 was collected from Vitelco from October 2000 through February 2001, Mills told a hearing of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Planning and Environmental Protection.
911 has used its allotment of $65,393. But other agencies benefiting from the fund -– police, emergency medical, and fire services -– have been slow to take advantage of it. The V.I. Police Department has yet to spend a dime.
Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull detailed the spending, which included a little more than $100,000 spent by Fire Services.
EMS Director Dr. Herbert Saunders told senators his agency has used only about $19,000 of its $181,119 allotment because the bill creating the fund designated hospitals as the recipient rather than the Health Department, which oversees EMS.
Saunders said going through the proper channels to obtain money has taken some time, but that the emergency fund will be used eventually to buy more ambulances for the territory, among other items.