78.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, May 18, 2024
HomeCommentaryOpen forumOpen forum: GERS Supports Dredging of Charlotte Amalie Harbor

Open forum: GERS Supports Dredging of Charlotte Amalie Harbor

Government Employees’ Retirement System

The Government Employees’ Retirement System (GERS) is in substantial support of the dredging of the harbor to accommodate larger ships. Over the past 10 years, GERS, as the owner of the Havensight Mall, has been on record along with the Havensight Merchants Association in support of the dredging of the harbor to allow Oasis class ships to dock at the WICO dock.

During the past fiscal year, WICO turned away 21 ships because they were too large to enter the constricted harbor. Larger ships will result in an increase of visitors, increase of revenues to the Havensight Mall tenants and WICO, increase of revenues to the taxi concession, increase of gross receipts taxes to the government, increase in the bottom line of the GERS, and overall, an economic boost to the economy of the territory.

GERS is aware that funds were requested under a HUD grant to dredge the harbor which was denied by HUD. Governor Bryan has stated publicly that the administration will request a waiver from HUD. We commend and stand with the governor for this stance.

However, GERS strongly urges its 17,000 plus members to lobby the administration and their senators to identify the necessary funding for this critical infrastructure which will be a significant boost to the economy and overall beneficial for this territory.

Austin L. Nibbs, CPA, GERS Administrator

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.