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HomeNewsArchivesClinics Get Senate Committee OK to Pursue HIV/AIDS Grant

Clinics Get Senate Committee OK to Pursue HIV/AIDS Grant

April 15, 2008 — The Committee on Finance gave the thumbs up Tuesday for Frederiksted's Ingeborg Nesbitt Clinic to seek a federal Ryan White Grant for $250,000.
The money will go to provide care for those with HIV/AIDS and those at risk for the disease, said Anneta Adams Heyliger, the clinic's interim executive director.
"(The) program continues to provide care to 30 percent of the 366 persons known to be living with HIV/AIDS on the island of St. Croix," Heyliger said during the hearing in Frederiksted.
Both the Frederiksted clinic and the Charles Harwood Medical Center outside Christiansted would receive part of the funding. There is no local government expense associated with the grant.
The clinic has received similar amounts from Ryan White Grants for several years, Heyliger said. The money would fund primary-care services for 120 existing clients, expanded clinic hours and an array of other services. Approximately $148,000 would go to pay salaries and benefits.
Voting in favor of the measure were Sens. Neville James, Juan Figueroa-Serville, Ronald Russell, Terrence "Positive" Nelson, James Weber III, Carlton "Ital" Dowe and Liston Davis. All committee members were present and the vote was unanimous.
The committee tabled a bill sponsored by Davis to establish a user-impact fee on new development valued at more than $5 million. The original form of the bill established a 10-percent fee or tax on construction worth more than $1 million, generating some controversy and spirited discussion on local radio talk shows. Davis offered a substitute bill, changing it to an impact fee levied by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Impact fees are already authorized by V.I. law, Davis said, citing chapter and section.
"The premise of impact fees is that developers should pay the full cost of development: water service, sewer lines, schools, roads and other services made necessary by the proposed development," said Roberto Cintron, assistant commissioner of Public Works, in support of the concept.
Added DPNR Commissioner Robert Mathes, "We support an impact fee. But we have to look at the mechanism, look at how it is applied. It is a very complicated issue."
The levy as originally proposed was arbitrary and unlikely to meet legal precedents, Mathes said. A fee must in some way benefit the fee payer, and must be based on a proportional fair share of costs, among other requirements listed by Mathes.
At Davis' request, the bill was held in committee for further review. Davis asked the testifiers to send comments to his office to help perfect the bill.
Voting yea on the motion to table the bill were James, Figueroa-Serville, Nelson, Weber, Dowe and Davis. Russell was absent.
In other business, the committee took testimony from Chief Public Defender Harold Willocks on a supplemental budget request in the amount of $781,000, principally for modest pay raises for attorneys and staff. No action was taken.
Former Firefighter Ronald Brow testified on his two decades of efforts to receive back pay of $130,000 and accrued interest to date of approximately $300,000. Citing the fact that Chief Labor Negotiator Jessica Gallivan has set aside some days to discuss the issue with Brow, several senators expressed sympathy but suggested Brow follow that avenue first. No action was taken.
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April 15, 2008 -- The Committee on Finance gave the thumbs up Tuesday for Frederiksted's Ingeborg Nesbitt Clinic to seek a federal Ryan White Grant for $250,000.
The money will go to provide care for those with HIV/AIDS and those at risk for the disease, said Anneta Adams Heyliger, the clinic's interim executive director.
"(The) program continues to provide care to 30 percent of the 366 persons known to be living with HIV/AIDS on the island of St. Croix," Heyliger said during the hearing in Frederiksted.
Both the Frederiksted clinic and the Charles Harwood Medical Center outside Christiansted would receive part of the funding. There is no local government expense associated with the grant.
The clinic has received similar amounts from Ryan White Grants for several years, Heyliger said. The money would fund primary-care services for 120 existing clients, expanded clinic hours and an array of other services. Approximately $148,000 would go to pay salaries and benefits.
Voting in favor of the measure were Sens. Neville James, Juan Figueroa-Serville, Ronald Russell, Terrence "Positive" Nelson, James Weber III, Carlton "Ital" Dowe and Liston Davis. All committee members were present and the vote was unanimous.
The committee tabled a bill sponsored by Davis to establish a user-impact fee on new development valued at more than $5 million. The original form of the bill established a 10-percent fee or tax on construction worth more than $1 million, generating some controversy and spirited discussion on local radio talk shows. Davis offered a substitute bill, changing it to an impact fee levied by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Impact fees are already authorized by V.I. law, Davis said, citing chapter and section.
"The premise of impact fees is that developers should pay the full cost of development: water service, sewer lines, schools, roads and other services made necessary by the proposed development," said Roberto Cintron, assistant commissioner of Public Works, in support of the concept.
Added DPNR Commissioner Robert Mathes, "We support an impact fee. But we have to look at the mechanism, look at how it is applied. It is a very complicated issue."
The levy as originally proposed was arbitrary and unlikely to meet legal precedents, Mathes said. A fee must in some way benefit the fee payer, and must be based on a proportional fair share of costs, among other requirements listed by Mathes.
At Davis' request, the bill was held in committee for further review. Davis asked the testifiers to send comments to his office to help perfect the bill.
Voting yea on the motion to table the bill were James, Figueroa-Serville, Nelson, Weber, Dowe and Davis. Russell was absent.
In other business, the committee took testimony from Chief Public Defender Harold Willocks on a supplemental budget request in the amount of $781,000, principally for modest pay raises for attorneys and staff. No action was taken.
Former Firefighter Ronald Brow testified on his two decades of efforts to receive back pay of $130,000 and accrued interest to date of approximately $300,000. Citing the fact that Chief Labor Negotiator Jessica Gallivan has set aside some days to discuss the issue with Brow, several senators expressed sympathy but suggested Brow follow that avenue first. No action was taken.
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.