Dec. 4, 2005 Gov. Charles W. Turnbull recently signed a bill appropriating $9.9 million to various departments and agencies. The money will come from the more than $60 million in unanticipated revenues, which turned up in the government's coffers in September.
Most of the money approvedsome $4.2 million will go to the Public Works Department for road repair on St. Thomas and St. Croix. This includes $250,000 to repair the Addelita Cancryn Junior High School bridge, and $2 million for the completion of the William's Delight Drainage/Flood Control Project.
Another $700,000 will fund youth groups and related projects on St. Croix, and $105,000 will go toward replacing seven broken hemodialysis units at the Juan F. Luis Hospital. (See "Senate Passes Spending Bill, Milk Bill and Approves Contracts Ratification, and Petitions Congress".)
An amendment to the bill, approved by senators at a full session in November, allows revenues garnered from grant anticipation revenue bonds (GARVEE bonds) to purchase additional buses for VITRAN in both districts, as well as more ferry boats to run between St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island.
Turnbull also approved a bill calling for the Legislature to petition Congress to amend Homeland Security rules requiring small companies that take money for carrying passengers between the U.S. and British Virgin Islands to submit passenger and crew information to a Customs Web site. (See "Charter Boat Industry Joins Forces to Fight Onerous Regulations".)
The bill seeks to amend the regulations by inserting language stating that day-charter boats taking the same passengers to and from the territory to the BVI do not have to transmit the information.
Turnbull approved a bill enacting the Dairy Industry Regulation Act of 2005. In a transmittal letter to Senate President Lorraine L. Berry, Turnbull said this law would bring the territory's dairy industry into compliance with federal regulations, and ensure that good quality milk and milk products are served to V.I. residents.
In other action, Turnbull signed into law a bill requiring school monitors to undergo drug and psychological testing before the Education Department hires the monitors. The bill also establishes a criminal check to prevent employees convicted locally or on the mainland from being employed in local schools.
Turnbull also approved a bill regulating the use of cellular phones while driving. At a Senate session in November, Sen. Roosevelt C. David, the bill's sponsor, said he introduced it to keep residents from being "maimed or killed" when drivers are too busy talking on the phone "to look at the road." The bill, which does allow "hands-free" devices to be used while driving, is a standard on the mainland, David said in November.
Bills designating March as V.I. History Month, and prohibiting the use of pocket-bikes on local highways were also signed into law, as well as bills:
— appropriating $150,000 to repair the air conditioning in the gymnasium at the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School.
— honoring Yvonne E. Milliner Bowsky for her service to the community and to rename the Peace Corps Elementary School in her name.
— honoring Isidor Paiewonsky posthumously for his contribution to the beautification and preservation of local environment, and to designate the first week of December "Isidor Paiewonsky Plant a Tree Week."
— honoring Gladys A. Abraham for outstanding service to the people of the Virgin Islands, and to rename the Michael J. Kirwan Elementary School the Gladys A. Abraham Elementary School.
— honoring Esther Virginia Brow Moorhead posthumously for contributions to Virgin Islands community and politics, and to name the Frederiksted Mall in her honor.
— authorizing the Commissioner of Property and Procurement to ratify certain contracts between the government and various local vendors to allow for the payment of services rendered on various projects.
— honoring and commending Abdul R. Ali for over twenty years of service to the Virgin Islands community as a Social Worker.
— honoring and commending Oscar Rosario for his dedication and contribution to the people of the Virgin Islands.
— honoring and commending Darwin Antonio King for his outstanding achievements and contributions to the people of the Virgin Islands
— supporting the goals and ideals of the Pulmonary Disease Awareness and Prevention Program.
Turnbull acknowledged the receipt of zoning requests, which were approved by the Legislature at a full session in November. These are:
— a zoning variance for Parcel No. 5 Grunwald No. 12B Cruz Bay Quarter, St. John for the operation of a restaurant.
— a zoning variance for Parcel No. 5C Estate Adrian, No, 18 Cruz Bay Quarter, St. John to allow retail trade and professional services.
— to rezone Plot Nos. 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30, 41, 44 and 45, Estate Ruby, Queens Quarter, St. Croix from R-2 (Residential Low Density) to R-3 (Residential Medium Density) to allow for the redevelopment of the Queens Quarter Hotel.
— to rezone Parcel Nos. 17C, 17D and 17E, Estate Smith Bay Nos. 1, 2 & 3 East End Quarter, St. Thomas from A-1 (Agriculture) to C (Commercial) to allow for additional parking space near the Red Hook Ferry Dock.
— to rezone Parcel Nos. 16 and 16A, Estate Crown Bay, No. 6 Southside Quarter, St. Thomas from W-2 (Waterfront Industrial) to B-2 (Business Secondary Neighborhood) for the construction of a financial center near the Crown Bay Marina.
— to grant a zoning variance for Parcel No. 171 Estate Altona and Welgunst, Kronprindsens Quarter, St. Thomas to allow for the conducting of church services, office use and youth services.
— to rezone Plot No. 156 Rust Up Twist, St. Croix from R-1 (Residential Low) to A-2 (Agriculture).
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