April 26, 2005 St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee chairman Julien Harley and member Madeline Sewer were a tad annoyed Tuesday when the third CZM member failed to show for a scheduled hearing.
The hearing on proposed changes at the V.I. Environmental Resource Station was then postponed because the committee failed to have a quorum. It will be rescheduled for the first week in May.
The committee has five slots but only three members. It needs all three to make a quorum. The third member, Brion Morrisette, was off island. CZM assistant director Bill Rohring said Morrisette was supposed to call in from off island to make the quorum, but he did not.
However, both Harley and Sewer place the blame on Government House for failing to appoint people to the two vacant positions so the committee could more easily make a quorum.
"Names have been given from DPNR and from the administrator's office," said Harley, who is also the St. John administrator. Sewer said some names were sent 2 ½ years ago, but nothing has happened.
"That's long enough to be waiting," she said.
Nominees must be confirmed by the Legislature before they can serve.
In addition to Rohring, two other CZM staff people and a court reporter made the trip from St. Thomas for the hearing. One person from the University of the Virgin Islands and one from the VIERS also attended.
Barry Devine of UVI's Conservation Data Center said the VIERS project includes improvements to the lab located at Lameshur Bay. A second phase will include the addition of a classroom to the lab and upgrades to the septic system, he said. A third phase will include the construction of a conference center.
If UVI gets its CZM permit, construction should start in June, Devine said, adding that Matthews Concrete of St. Thomas was the successful bidder. The $200,000 price tag comes out of a grant from the National Science Foundation.
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