April 10, 2003 – To fund court-ordered wastewater system improvements for the territory and to purchase property for the Salt River National Park and Ecological Preserve on St. Croix, Delegate Donna M. Christensen has submitted a request for a total of $11.5 million to a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.
Christensen said in a release distributed on Thursday that she asked the Interior Subcommittee for $5 million to build two new wastewater treatment plants for the territory.
Citing a September 2002 court action, Christensen noted stipulations for the design, construction and operation of the facilities designated for the Anguilla landfill on St. Croix and for Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas.
The delegate also requested another $4 million, or 25 percent of the cost of emergency repairs to the wastewater system. "While a number of these critical repairs have been accomplished, much remains to be done to protect the public health and meet the stringent timetable," she said in her funding request.
Additionally, Christensen requested a $2.5 million grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for the purchase of 8.5 acres at Salt River. The property includes a two-story, 4,800-square-foot house, which would be converted into a visitor center and museum as well as an operations center for the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve on St. Croix.
Last year, Congress extended the boundaries of the Salt River Park to include the property; however, funding for the purchase did not survive last-minute budget cuts.
Christensen said acquisition of the property would enable the park to showcase the cultural, historical and environmental assets of the area for future generations of residents and visitors.
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