Home News Local news BEAL-GOV’T LAND SWAP IN COURT WEDNESDAY

BEAL-GOV’T LAND SWAP IN COURT WEDNESDAY

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The hearing on whether to issue a preliminary injunction against the Beal Aerospace-V.I. government land exchange has been rescheduled for Wednesday.
The hearing was originally set for last Thursday by Territorial Court Judge Alphonso Andrews, but was preempted by Hurricane Jose. The hearing will convene at 1 p.m. Wednesday in Territorial Court at Kingshill.
Meanwhile, the V.I. attorney general’s request to have the case moved from Territorial to District Court was rejected. In his decision Thursday to deny Attorney General Iver Stridiron’s motion, federal Judge Raymond Finch said District Court didn’t have jurisdiction in the matter. Stridiron had argued that a majority of the issues in the land exchange case pertained to federal laws and therefore it should be heard in District Court.
On Oct. 8, three days after the V.I. Legislature approved the land swap, Territorial Court Judge Alphonso Andrews granted the request of Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen and 19 other St. Croix residents for a temporary restraining order against it. Andrews ruled that Gov. Charles Turnbull violated the public trust when he sent the land exchange agreement to the Senate for approval.
The Legislature approved the land swap so that Texas-based Beal could acquire 14.5 acres of land, once the home of the Camp Arawak youth camp, for a portion of a parking lot. The lot will accompany Beal’s proposed $57-million world headquarters and rocket assembly plant near Great Pond Bay. In exchange for the Camp Arawak land, the government would receive acreage owned by Beal in Estates Whim and Grange Hill.
Opponents of the swap contend that the Camp Arawak land was deeded to the people of the territory in 1974 to be developed into a park and therefore cannot be traded away.

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