82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 3, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesGovernment Operations Committee Tackles Barge Fee Issue

Government Operations Committee Tackles Barge Fee Issue

May 24, 2006 – After announcing that Tuesday's Government Operations Committee meeting was canceled, Sen. Roosevelt David later changed his mind and held the meeting despite the fact that the Legislature building had no working audio system.
Arcing electrical wires on a pole adjacent to St. John's Legislature building plunged the building and the one next door into darkness Tuesday night.
Staff at the Legislature building said they heard a popping sound about 5:30 p.m. Smoke then poured out of the TV and VCR.
David called the meeting to discuss the fees now being collected by the V.I. Port Authority from drivers using the barges that travel between Red Hook, St. Thomas, and Cruz Bay, St. John.
David, who conferred with his colleagues when he decided to cancel the meeting, said Wednesday that he bowed to pressure from his fellow senators to hold the meeting after he had canceled it.
He said residents wanted him to move the meeting to another location, but he didn't want to do that.
David said that he believes the Port Authority will scale back the fees as a result of pressure from those that testified. He said he didn't know when that would happen.
St. John resident Lorelei Monsanto, who said she was still waiting outside when David changed his mind, said a lot of the testimony centered on the St. John's already high cost of living.
"This is taxation without representation," she said.
According to a press release from the Legislature's Public Affairs Office, all testifiers opposed the new fees. They urged the senators to intervene because they were now paying a "tax" specifically targeted at St. John residents.
VIPA Board Chairman Robert O'Connor Jr. said that while he was sensitive to the plight of St. John residents, the board had the responsibility to produce sufficient revenues for its operations and capital projects.
O'Connor said that the only other option was to receive a government subsidy. He could not be reached Wednesday for further comment.
Cheryl Boynes-Jackson, representing barge operators Boyson Inc. and Ocean Link, said that revenues were down because the public had reduced its use of the barges to get back and forth between St. Thomas and St. John.
VIPA Director Darlan Brin said that the fees were implemented after a study was made.
Senators at the meeting included David, Ronald Russell, Shawn-Michael Malone, Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg, Terrence Nelson, and Liston Davis.
Back Talk

Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,756FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
11 hours ago
Virgin Islands Source

Host Adisha Penn recaps the biggest headlines of the week while Source reporter Knema Willett joins USVI Division of Festivals Director Ian Turnbull in the studio for some behind-the-scenes info on the 2022 St. John Celebration. ... See MoreSee Less

Load more
May 24, 2006 - After announcing that Tuesday's Government Operations Committee meeting was canceled, Sen. Roosevelt David later changed his mind and held the meeting despite the fact that the Legislature building had no working audio system.
Arcing electrical wires on a pole adjacent to St. John's Legislature building plunged the building and the one next door into darkness Tuesday night.
Staff at the Legislature building said they heard a popping sound about 5:30 p.m. Smoke then poured out of the TV and VCR.
David called the meeting to discuss the fees now being collected by the V.I. Port Authority from drivers using the barges that travel between Red Hook, St. Thomas, and Cruz Bay, St. John.
David, who conferred with his colleagues when he decided to cancel the meeting, said Wednesday that he bowed to pressure from his fellow senators to hold the meeting after he had canceled it.
He said residents wanted him to move the meeting to another location, but he didn't want to do that.
David said that he believes the Port Authority will scale back the fees as a result of pressure from those that testified. He said he didn't know when that would happen.
St. John resident Lorelei Monsanto, who said she was still waiting outside when David changed his mind, said a lot of the testimony centered on the St. John's already high cost of living.
"This is taxation without representation," she said.
According to a press release from the Legislature's Public Affairs Office, all testifiers opposed the new fees. They urged the senators to intervene because they were now paying a "tax" specifically targeted at St. John residents.
VIPA Board Chairman Robert O'Connor Jr. said that while he was sensitive to the plight of St. John residents, the board had the responsibility to produce sufficient revenues for its operations and capital projects.
O'Connor said that the only other option was to receive a government subsidy. He could not be reached Wednesday for further comment.
Cheryl Boynes-Jackson, representing barge operators Boyson Inc. and Ocean Link, said that revenues were down because the public had reduced its use of the barges to get back and forth between St. Thomas and St. John.
VIPA Director Darlan Brin said that the fees were implemented after a study was made.
Senators at the meeting included David, Ronald Russell, Shawn-Michael Malone, Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg, Terrence Nelson, and Liston Davis.
Back Talk


Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.