Home News Local news CARNIVAL 2000 COMING UP $50,000 SHORT

CARNIVAL 2000 COMING UP $50,000 SHORT

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A $50,000 reduction in the annual allotment provided to the Virgin Islands Carnival Committee each year to cover costs associated with the month-long celebration could mean that there will be no Virgin Islands Carnival this year.
Committee Chairman Kenneth Blake said Wednesday "We are going to continue to meet to determine what we can do with the (remaining) $250,000 and how we can move forward in planning this year’s events."
Also confronting the committee is the trickling in of corporate sponsorship due to the sluggish economy, Blake said.
"We have to look at the entire scenario over the weekend and decide by Monday. It is my hope that we will have a carnival celebration this year."
Blake said the committee was upset after learning that the government’s annual allocation will be cut from $300,000 to $250,000. He said it appears to be a move by the 23rd Legislature.
"The governor is 100 percent behind us," Blake said. "We had meetings with the governor in December to go over the schedule and discuss funding."
Blake said the governor promised then to provide the same level of funds as the committee received last year. He said the committee agreed to accept the $300,000 given the fiscal constraints facing the government.
"When the measure arrived at the Legislature, the majority caucus decided to slash the budget," Blake said. "It was a message of take it or leave it."
The committee will decide by next week whether to "take it or leave it," he added.
Blake said Carnival Committee members want to put on a special Year 2000 celebration as other locations are doing but they are not optimistic that they can without the full $300,000 appropriation.
"The members are up in arms because they are volunteers and work hard toward making Carnival a success," he said.
He said the committee "wanted to put on the best show for the new century." Now, they feel they can’t do anything special and "it becomes a problem."

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