DHS Press Release
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Posted August 13, 2019 Water Island Administrator Lewis's office was on Water Island yesterday and has tagged cars and boats that appear to be abandoned on public property.
White Goods At Dump
Posted August 13, 2019 You all have seen the large collection of appliances and metal at the dump.
WICA began on 9 August to hand load appliances into one of the dumpster bins. Packing the dumpster carefully will allow us to get many appliances in the bin. If this goes well, WICA will do this weekly until all are removed.
WICA is asking residents to please use only two bins and not to place any household items in the METAL ONLY bin. Please do not place any large furniture items in the bins until we get the metal items removed from the dump.
If we are all considerate, we can get the appliances and metal removed before prime hurricane season. Please break down boxes and do the best you can to fit household debris into the two bins. We can do this!
UPDATE! WICA is paying for a white goods bin barge and labor to load it in partnership with WMA starting next week.
Apparently not everyone received the information about keeping one bin empty for metal/white goods. Can we ALL please try harder.
Water Island Administrator Correspondence
Posted August 1, 2019 The below email is correspondence from our Water Island Administrator, Avery Lewis, with the Water Island Civic Association President, Joanne Bohr. We felt all residents and members of WICA would want to be aware of current events effecting Water Island.
Subject: Response to WICA
Good Morning Mrs. Bohr
Please see the correct version of the response to your inquiries and again I ask that the first email be disregarded. I am and will remain reachable and committed to the residents of Water Island. If you have any further inquiries please feel free to contact me. Again thank you for your patience and understanding.
“Good morning Mr. Lewis:
We hope this email finds you well. I have been remiss in not asking for this information earlier, but many of the Water Island Civic Association members are asking your assistance on the following topics:
1. Hotel lease status.
I have received many emails and calls asking if the 2014 lease is still in place. The EDA investment solicitation for real estate development in the VI Consortium indicates there are 197 acres available for development. Is that accurate?
Please submit the VI Consortium article you are reading for this information, as I am not familiar with the article you are referring to. For the total acreage of Government of the Virgin Islands of the United States-owned properties located on Water Island, I refer you to pages 98 and 99 in the attached listing from the Department of Property and Procurement (P&P), which is also available on the P&P website.
The WICA membership had not been aware of any activity over the past 4 years so it was believed the lease was no longer valid. I refer you to Bob Jackson’s email, the developer’s representative, which is posted on the WICA website, dated February 20, 2019, which indicates Governor Bryan’s support for the project along with Mr. Jackson’s full contact information. Also on the WICA website is a copy of the lease with the terms clearly identified and I direct your attention to Section 3:02.
Would you please advise current status and plans? There were project changes that enlarged the sites after the original town meeting --but no real information is provided. We are a small residential island with few services available so you can understand our concern of what a massive project would do to our quality of life as Virgin Islanders.
When I responded to your email on April 1st, it was to a similar question.
I refer you to that 4/1/19 email, which in part stated that …there is certainly no information blacked-out related to WICA members, any Water Island residents, or any other Virgin Islander on this project…this project remains the same as was laid out to the Water Island residents at the luncheon meeting held by the developer several years ago. The development project was stalled by the prior administration's opposition to the legislative amendments that were needed for the project to be financeable…and…Simply, no new information exists…
2. Honeymoon beach facilities and infrastructure are overwhelmed and severe environmental damage is happening without any real restriction or enforcement WICA was told WI would be part of the water testing program and are unaware if testing is actually done or where we can find the results. The sewage and water issues are not new but a serious problem. We see the existing business expanding without the supporting bathroom facilities increased or improved.
The Department of Sports, Parks, and Recreation (SPR), in conjunction with the Department of Tourism, and the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, are working to maintain a balance on the Honeymoon Beach for all residents and visitors. SPR interacts with your Water Island vendors, all who are Water Island residents, numerous times a week. Communication and cooperation are the key; I am in regular conversation with Commissioner White, and offer the suggestion that you reach out to your Water Island neighbors, who are the beach vendors, as well.
DPNR in previous requests indicated they did not have the funding to add the Honeymoon Beach area in their monthly beach testing. I will reach out to them again. In the meantime, the owner of the water testing company that DPNR utilizes is a Water Island resident, and the WICA might consider this a community effort pay for Water Testing of the beach area. DPNR did perform water testing of Druif Bay (Honeymoon Beach) after the hurricanes prior to allowing the public to access the water. That test came back negative for any harmful bacteria which would prevent public use of the bay.
3. May we ask what permits or applications are in process for Water Island? There was a moratorium of beach permits in place but that obviously has been lifted.
I am not aware of any type of moratorium for Water Island beaches; however, I will reach out to legal counsel for a clarification.
4. We would still like to have our Governor and Commissioners attend a meeting but many of the property owners and residents take off to visit family or medical during the summer months when the kids are out of school in the states. Hopefully, we can schedule one for November or early December.
I understand that many of your property owners have duel residences; however, when the Governor’s schedule permits, we will entertain a meeting at that time.
5. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and Governor Bryan at your convenience on STT or WI. Governor Bryan had indicated the Water Island Civic Association would ‘have a seat at the table’ discussing WI issues, so we are hopeful we can be placed on his schedule soon.
As you will recall, Water Island was one of the first neighborhoods I came to visit as the Bryan/Roach administration began, and we all look forward to more of those types of discussions. I
Many thanks for your time and consideration to this request for information and I meeting
Water Island Civic Association
Avery L. Lewis
Administrator- St. Thomas/ Water Island
Office of the Governor
5047 Kongens Gade
St. Thomas, VI 00802-6487
340-774-0001 Ext. 4350 or 4344
WICA President Reply - - -
From: Joanne Bohr
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 1:11 PM
To: Avery Lewis <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: Response to WICA
Good morning Mr Lewis
Please be assured we understand the first reply was sent in error and will use this response for distribution (beyond who received the original email).
There are a few items we could use some clarification— see further comments/questions below if you would review and advise.
Hotel/Lease I will ask Mary Dunakey, WICA VP to address hotel and lease questions that I may not be addressing properly.
(Please note--while we support a small boutique hotel, we must be able to ask relevant questions on something as important as a major development planned for an island our size. This is why we asked for current status reaching out to you as our Administrator and Bob Jackson who was identified as our WIDC contact person. This was not to disrupt the project but to ensure we understood where the project stood --if it has expired due to the terms of the lease).
The laboratory you referenced by WI resident does not have the records of post-hurricane Druif Bay water testing. Perhaps a different lab was used; but DPNR did not have any record of same. It was at that time, WICA was told by DPNR WI would be added to the sites due to size of population using the beach.
At your suggestion, we will ask WICA membership to fund the lab fee to test Honeymoon Beach at least monthly for the safety of VI residents and tourists alike
Please know, we are in communication with both Mr. White and Mr. Oriol frequently and value their tremendous assistance and guidance.
Unfortunately, it seems there is no funding available to provide management or bathroom facilities in spite of the huge increase in visitors that need the restroom facilities. Heidi’s Honeymoon Grill has sponsored some community efforts to improve the beach use by visitors and residents over the past year.
WICA will continue to reach out to both commissioners to raise issues and safety concerns.
One last note:
We know Water Island has not always been part of the USVI---but since 1996 we are proud to be VI Residents and also tax payers.
As such, it was surprising to read your comment sent in April: “We must be considerate of the fact that the Government actively pursued the hotel investors through an RFP process, and be mindful that there has been no substantive contributing economic activity on Water Island since the first hotel was built in 1953, changing ownership several times, and destroyed by the Hurricane of 1989”
Mr Lewis, I am sure our property taxes and especially our income taxes paid have “contributed to the economic activity” of the VI.
Again, we thank you for your time and response, we also look forward to future meetings and discussions.
All the best regards
Water Island Civic Association
Joanne Bohr | Area General Manager-Caribbean
WFS Cyril E King Airport | 8100 Lindberg #9 | ST Thomas, VI 00802| USA T: +1 340 776 6110 | F: +1 340 776 7621 | M: +1 340 690 4258 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.wfs.aero
Security is everyone’s business
Water Island Hotel Update!!
Posted July 18, 2019
Posted July 15, 2019
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR ROACH ANNOUNCES
ISSUANCE OF 2019 PROPERTY TAX BILLS
Lieutenant Governor Tregenza A. Roach, Esq. informs the public that the 2019 Property Tax bills have been issued to all property owners on record as of January 1, 2019. The 2019 bills are due and payable on or before August 14, 2019. Interest and penalties will accrue after October 14, 2019, pursuant to an Executive Order issued today.
Property Tax bills can be paid online at the Office of the Lieutenant Governor’s Tax Collector’s Office website at https://propertytax.vi.gov. Payments can also be made in the form of a certified check, money order, or credit card at any Office of the Lieutenant Governor cashier locations. Payment plan options are available and can be arranged by visiting the Office of the Tax Collector.
Consistent with past billings, the 2019 tax bill will include information on unpaid tax years. Property owners who have not paid their prior year tax bills are encouraged to contact the Office of the Tax Collector to set up a payment plan.
Payments can be made on all three islands at the following locations:
St. John: Islandia Building at 18-23 Enighed St. John (340) 774-2991
St. Thomas: Builders Emporium at 52E-1 Estate Thomas (340) 774-2991
Suite #2 Nisky Center (340) 774-2991
St. Croix: 1105 King Street (Government House, Christiansted) (340) 773-6449
1131 King Street, Suite #101 (Christiansted) (340) 773-6449
4008 Est. Diamond (Dept. of Finance, Sunny Isles) (340) 773-6449
Lagoon Street Commercial Bldg No.1 (Frederiksted) (340) 773-6449
For additional information or questions regarding property tax delinquencies, please contact the Office of the Tax Collector at (340) 774-2991 on St. Thomas, (340) 776-6737 on St. John, or (340) 773-6449 on St. Croix.
We Made The News!
Posted July 6, 2019 We might be small but we are mighty! Thanks to the effort of a dedicated group of people, the Water Island 4th of July Parade was a huge success! We even made the Virgin Islands Daily News!
New Street Signs!
Posted June 4, 2019 The first batch of road signs have been installed!
The signs were approved by the majority at the last annual WICA meeting. The signs have been hand made and installed by Rachael. This will help keep our visitors going where they are supposed to! We hope!
A BIG "THANK YOU!, to Rachael!
Posted May 30, 2019
VIWMA ANNOUNCES MORATORIUM ON SCRAP METAL COLLECTION
AT BOVONI LANDFILL
The Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (VIWMA) Preserving Paradise team advises the community and solid waste haulers that scrap metal collection at the Bovoni Landfill is on hold effective immediately, as the Landfill is over capacity in its scrap metal area and cannot accept any additional metal at this time.
In the interim, maintenance of the scrap metal area will take place. This will help to maintain a well-organized and safer environment.
The Authority will resume accepting scrap metal on Monday, June 3, 2019.
The VIWMA Preserving Paradise Team continues to work diligently to provide reliable services and would like to thank the community for their patience and cooperation.
For more information, contact the Office of Communications Management at 340-513-4171 or email email@example.com.
Posted April 24, 2019
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR ROACH ANNOUNCES IMPORTANT MEETING FOR AARP-VI MEMBERS PREVIOUSLY COVERED UNDER REAL LEGACY ASSURANCE COMPANY
The Division of Banking, Insurance, and Financial Regulation in conjunction with AARP -VI advises the public of the next general membership meeting hosted by the St. Thomas AARP Chapter #3138. The meeting will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2019at the Schneider Regional Medical Center, Sun Room at 1:30pm.
Important information for policy holders previously insured under the Real Legacy Assurance Company whose coverage has been transferred to NEMWIL Insurance Company will be discussed. All policyholders are welcomed to attend to receive detailed information on the claims process. This is the second meeting hosted by AARP-VI. The first meeting was held on March 9th by the St. Croix AARP Chapter.
A presentation on the new AARP Homeowners Insurance policy will be made by representatives of NEMWIL Insurance Company to address concerns that members may have regarding the recent transfer. Staff from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor Division of Banking, Insurance, and Financial Regulation will also attend the meeting to answer questions and provide information to those impacted by the change.
Delegate Plaskett Meeting Recap
Posted April 15, 2019
April 11, 2019
Recap of Delegate Plaskett’s Water Island Visit on April 7, 2019
Our delegate arrived on Water Island on the 9:30am ferry accompanied by staff members Barbara Petersen, Cletis Clendinen, and Kyza Callwood and a security officer.
This was Delegate Plaskett’s first visit to Water Island.
Mary Dunakey, Chuck Gidley and Joanne Bohr conducted a tour of Water Island covering almost all of Water Island and a drive through of Sprat Bay.
We pointed out the mail room, explained our ‘mail service’ and our ‘library’. (In fact, Ms Plaskett was interested in a book there and we insisted she take it.)
The roads demonstrated the need for repairs and we asked that the status on FEMA funding to be addressed in the meeting.
Although not a federal issue per se, we showed her our waste transfer site and critical need for tires/oil and white goods to be removed as EPA issue.
The Fort, the WISAR boat, and Flamingo marina were also on the tour, ending at the firehouse in time for the 11AM meeting to start. Ms. Plaskett greeted everyone entering as ‘Stacey” and asked good questions upon meeting our community. It was well attended
The topics discussed:
A/ Water testing at Honeymoon Beach as other Beaches are tested
B/ Post Office
D/ Specific FEMA listing of approved projects (and status) on WI
In addition, Barbara Petersen was able to give some history of various topics before and during the meeting.
We finished with a final tour onto the beach where WICA hosted their lunch which was a good opportunity to chat informally as well.
The feedback of the meeting received from our community has been so very positive. “Knowledgeable”, “impressive”, “approachable” were some of the comments.
Our delegate explained her role as a Congresswoman, projects, and committees on which she serves—that are various and extensive. To view more about our delegate please visit her website https:Plaskett.house.gov
We hope to have our Delegate return, especially for those unable to attend this meeting.
Water Island Civic Association
Posted April 10, 2019
Posted Saturday April 6, 2019 The location to meet Congresswoman Plaskett tomorrow has changed. It is now at the Water Island Firehouse at 11AM.
Mark Your Calendars!
Posted March 28, 2019 Mark it on your calendar! Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 11:00AM on Honeymoon Beach! Through the efforts of our WICA president, Joanne Bohr, and Barbara Petersen, Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett will visit Water Island to meet our residents.
Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett represents the United States Virgin Islands’ at-large Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. Stacey currently serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Committee on Agriculture. She is also a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, where she serves as Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment.
Very Sad Announcement
Posted March 22, 2019 It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of one of our longtime residents and dear, dear, friends, Carol Richardson. Carol passed away earlier this week. As we all know, Carol was a tremendously talented artist that contributed her work to the WICA Annual Auction every year. Almost without fail, her beautiful, sought after work, attracted the highest bid for the auction.
Please join friends and family of our dear neighbor and friend Carol Richardson as we celebrate her artistic talents, her heartfelt love of animals, Water Island and a life well lived.
We will be gathering at Heidi’s Honeymoon Grill at 10:30 am on Sunday, March 24th for a Celebration of Life.
Here is Carol's obituary from the Virgin Islands Daily News.
2019 Water Island St. Patty's Day Parade
ATTENTION! Be On The Lookout!
Christi Roselle showcasing Carol Richardson's 2019 WICA Auction painting
Posted March 18, 2019 Be on the lookout for the following people on Water Island;
The following people are part of the notorious "2019 WICA Annual Auction Success" This tireless group was led by none other than Mercy "You WILL Volunteer" Blosser.
Julie Northup, Christine Black, Jan Robinson, Sue Bubb, Lee Passios, Missy Petit, Jane Wherren, Mary Dunakey, Bob Blosser, Dennis Murphy (AKA "The Auctioneer!),Ginny Spencer, Bob Bohr, Glen Petit and his "gang" of volunteers to set the tents, Martha Langkammerer, Christi "Vanna Has Nothing On Me!" Roselle, Chuck Gidley, Robin Marion, Eric Bubb, Cristy Carli, Jane Schaffer, Christy Jacobson, AND the infamous "Heidi "I cater an amazing lunch" Erwig.
There are probably some other names that have escaped notice because they are so stealthy.When they are identified we will report their names so all know who they are!
When you see these people give them a HUGE "Thank You!" for making the 2019 WICA Annual Auction an unbelievable success.
Also, thank you to ALL of the Water Island residents and friends that contributed their talent and items. Please don't forget all of the successful bidders at the auction.
Well Done To ALL! THANK YOU!
Posted March 2, 2019 Drop off times are 10AM to 3PM on the below dates!
Water Island Administrator Visit
Posted February 22, 2019
Last week, we reached out to our Water Island Administrator, Mr Avery Lewis. His office set up a tour for this morning to meet and understand different Water Island Issues.
Ms Sheryl Manning, Mr Lewis’ Assistant Coordinator accompanied our Administrator on the tour.
David Roselle, Mary Dunakey and I met them off the 8am ferry and gave a little history of WI, including the role of DOI, Hotel Lease and transfer to the US VI in 1996.
Mary provided a copy of the transfer deed and the shorelines act regarding development.
We drove up Providence Hill, went to the Government offices (Burkhart House) and then proceeded to the fire house. We showed them the WISAR ambulance and firetruck provided by fundraising efforts plus the firetruck from the deJongh Administration.
From there we proceeded down past Ackley’s house to Fort Hill road, up to the fort; onto Deep Water dock and transfer site. David spoke about the abandoned car efforts and partnerships in the past as well as road projects on Overdown, Fort Hill, and Deep Water Dock Road (plus discussed maintenance of the dump road with assistance from volunteers, never ending)
We then travelled to see Flamingo Bay quickly and then to the beach. It was early and nothing was open yet. We told them they would not recognize this beach on cruise ship days once the ships dock.
Mr Lewis expressed concerns for the beach environment and noted DPNR is in charge. We had a half hour to chat about priorities.
All 3 of us emphasized that Water Islanders work hard to maintain our island and do as much as we can. What we need from the GVI is permission and help with major issues.
He assured we would have many visits and he or staff would come over as often as needed or possible. We all expressed thanks for coming so quickly.
I think this was a positive first step to work with the new administration
PLEASE NOTE---Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett is planning to come over in March for a Town Meetng—date TBA
Senator Stedmann Hodge plans on a WI visit on March 17th (he was here in July to meet WI)
A BIG Thank You!
Posted February 12, 2019 Thanks to Scott Rak for cleaning up hurricane debris and litter from the ravine right before the beach road. A much nicer view for residents and guests as you drive from the ferry dock
THE ANNUAL AUCTION IS BACK!
Annual WICA Meeting
Posted January 11, 2019 If you are a Member of WICA please go to the "Members" area on this site to view and download the 2019 WICA Annual Meeting Package and also to submit your proxy vote for the meeting if you cannot attend.