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HomeNewsArchivesBournefield Tenants to Be Out By April 1, VIPA Says

Bournefield Tenants to Be Out By April 1, VIPA Says

Tenants of St. Thomas' Bournefield housing community have until the end of March 2011 to move.What started out as a plan to shut down two units turned into a full-scale evacuation of the entire Bournefield housing community, as V.I. Port Authority board members unanimously voted Wednesday to give the tenants four months to move out.

The board’s concerns had to do with repeated flooding in the area, along with a sewage problem that they said has made many of the units a health hazard. Some board members said it is only a matter of time before someone gets injured, which would leave the authority, as the landlord, open to a lawsuit.

VIPA will also be offering the tenants the equivalent of six months’ rent to help with the move. One board member, Labor Commissioner Albert Bryan, said he was concerned that the stipend would not be enough for the tenants to maintain their lifestyle, given the uptick in rent brought on by the dip in the economy.

Bournefield has flooded before, and if the tenants didn’t move then, Bryan questioned whether they would be able to move now.
Rent at Bournefield runs from $375 for a one bedroom to $525 for a three bedroom.

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The stipend would only be available for tenants who are current in their rent.

Other board members, such as Yvonne Thraen, said that flooding in Bournefield has been a concern since at least the 1980s and has cost VIPA a substantial amount in repairs. She added that it’s time to get the residents "out for their own safety."

Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls, who also sits on the board, explained later that the units sit in a flood plain, and there’s really nothing that can be done about it. All runoff from the hill above doesn’t just sit in the area, it goes all the way down to the roadway in front of the housing community and even as far as the airport, he said.

Another concern was that no notice about the eviction had been given to the tenants prior to Wednesday’s board meeting, and that they would have to read about in the paper before hearing from the authority.

After the meeting, board chairwoman Beverly Nicholson-Doty said VIPA would be issuing a statement to the media and the Bournefield residents by the end of the day.

She stressed that the most important issue is the safety and condition of the units, which were always meant to be temporary, not permanent, housing.

In other action, the board voted to:

-waive $3,510 in interest in penalties racked up by Tuan T. Nguyen, doing business as Angel Nails, on unpaid rent at his store in Crown Bay as long as he continues to pay off what he owes;

– approve a three-year lease with Wala Fadi Monsour, doing business as Wireless Mobile, for space at the Red Hook ferry terminal; and

-approve adjustments in a contract with The deJongh Group for design services for the Cruz Bay, St. John creek expansion in the amount of $32,000.

Board members present at Wednesday’s meeting were Bryan, Vincent Frazer, Nicholson-Doty, Robert O’Connor, Smalls and Thraen.

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Tenants of St. Thomas' Bournefield housing community have until the end of March 2011 to move.What started out as a plan to shut down two units turned into a full-scale evacuation of the entire Bournefield housing community, as V.I. Port Authority board members unanimously voted Wednesday to give the tenants four months to move out.

The board's concerns had to do with repeated flooding in the area, along with a sewage problem that they said has made many of the units a health hazard. Some board members said it is only a matter of time before someone gets injured, which would leave the authority, as the landlord, open to a lawsuit.

VIPA will also be offering the tenants the equivalent of six months' rent to help with the move. One board member, Labor Commissioner Albert Bryan, said he was concerned that the stipend would not be enough for the tenants to maintain their lifestyle, given the uptick in rent brought on by the dip in the economy.

Bournefield has flooded before, and if the tenants didn't move then, Bryan questioned whether they would be able to move now.
Rent at Bournefield runs from $375 for a one bedroom to $525 for a three bedroom.

The stipend would only be available for tenants who are current in their rent.

Other board members, such as Yvonne Thraen, said that flooding in Bournefield has been a concern since at least the 1980s and has cost VIPA a substantial amount in repairs. She added that it's time to get the residents "out for their own safety."

Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls, who also sits on the board, explained later that the units sit in a flood plain, and there's really nothing that can be done about it. All runoff from the hill above doesn't just sit in the area, it goes all the way down to the roadway in front of the housing community and even as far as the airport, he said.

Another concern was that no notice about the eviction had been given to the tenants prior to Wednesday's board meeting, and that they would have to read about in the paper before hearing from the authority.

After the meeting, board chairwoman Beverly Nicholson-Doty said VIPA would be issuing a statement to the media and the Bournefield residents by the end of the day.

She stressed that the most important issue is the safety and condition of the units, which were always meant to be temporary, not permanent, housing.

In other action, the board voted to:

-waive $3,510 in interest in penalties racked up by Tuan T. Nguyen, doing business as Angel Nails, on unpaid rent at his store in Crown Bay as long as he continues to pay off what he owes;

- approve a three-year lease with Wala Fadi Monsour, doing business as Wireless Mobile, for space at the Red Hook ferry terminal; and

-approve adjustments in a contract with The deJongh Group for design services for the Cruz Bay, St. John creek expansion in the amount of $32,000.

Board members present at Wednesday's meeting were Bryan, Vincent Frazer, Nicholson-Doty, Robert O'Connor, Smalls and Thraen.