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Monday, August 8, 2022
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Senate Looks at Land Records Assessment

The territorial archives and Lieutenant Governor’s Office may start writing up an assessment of U.S. Virgin Islands land records, maps and images every five years, if a bill approved in committee Wednesday is enacted into law.

The measure, sponsored by Sens. Myron Jackson and Shawn-Michael Malone, requires the recorder of deeds to assess the state of the cadastral and land records in the office, "detailing the physical condition, location and accessibility of the cadastral and land records of the territory to the public." [30-0023]

Jackson proposed an amendment addressing concerns raised by both the recorder of deeds and the Libraries and Archives division of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.

"The amendment attempts to make sure the survey is completed in conjunction with DPNR, which has jurisdiction over archives," Jackson said.

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The amendment adds language saying the assessment will be done "in collaboration with" DPNR’s Division of Libraries and Archives, saying the Lieutenant Governor’s Office "shall budget" sufficient amounts for the survey as a line item in its budget; coordinate with the Danish and U.S. national archives; create a strategic archival plan; and publish their findings every five years.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Office supports the bill as amended, said V.I. Tax Assessor Ira Mills. The office "views the intent of the bill as an ongoing effort into the future to reassess the storage and preservation capacity needs of the cadastral and public records unit as well as reporting to the public of the same," Mills said.

Voting for the amendment and the bill were Jackson, Malone, Sens. Tregenza Roach and Janette Millin Young. Sens. Kenneth Gittens, Terrence "Positive" Nelson and Nereida "Nellie" Rivera-O’Reilly were absent.

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The territorial archives and Lieutenant Governor's Office may start writing up an assessment of U.S. Virgin Islands land records, maps and images every five years, if a bill approved in committee Wednesday is enacted into law.

The measure, sponsored by Sens. Myron Jackson and Shawn-Michael Malone, requires the recorder of deeds to assess the state of the cadastral and land records in the office, "detailing the physical condition, location and accessibility of the cadastral and land records of the territory to the public." [30-0023]

Jackson proposed an amendment addressing concerns raised by both the recorder of deeds and the Libraries and Archives division of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.

"The amendment attempts to make sure the survey is completed in conjunction with DPNR, which has jurisdiction over archives," Jackson said.

The amendment adds language saying the assessment will be done "in collaboration with" DPNR's Division of Libraries and Archives, saying the Lieutenant Governor’s Office "shall budget" sufficient amounts for the survey as a line item in its budget; coordinate with the Danish and U.S. national archives; create a strategic archival plan; and publish their findings every five years.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Office supports the bill as amended, said V.I. Tax Assessor Ira Mills. The office "views the intent of the bill as an ongoing effort into the future to reassess the storage and preservation capacity needs of the cadastral and public records unit as well as reporting to the public of the same," Mills said.

Voting for the amendment and the bill were Jackson, Malone, Sens. Tregenza Roach and Janette Millin Young. Sens. Kenneth Gittens, Terrence "Positive" Nelson and Nereida "Nellie" Rivera-O'Reilly were absent.