$3 Million in Infrastructure Funds Will Make Improvements in the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Health, Education, Power and Public Safety Systems

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Esther Kia’aina today announced nearly $3 million in grant assistance to the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) through the Office of Insular Affairs’ (OIA) Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Program. Funds will support critical improvements to the territory’s infrastructure.

 “These vital infrastructure projects will help boost economic development in the USVI and bolster the territory’s health, education, power and public safety systems,” said Assistant Secretary Kia’aina. “I am particularly pleased to support the first meaningful expansion to the St. Thomas East End Medical Center Corporation clinic, which improves their facility and increases patient capacity.

 “We realize that these important projects would not be possible without the continued support of Congress and local leadership,” Kia’aina added. “We are pleased to support Governor John de Jongh in this way.”

Grants awarded today were as follows:

· $562,250 for the renovation and expansion of the existing clinic area of the St. Thomas East End Medical Center Corporation
· $465,000 to the Bureau of Corrections for refurbishment of the Anna’s Hope Correctional Facility to provide a safe, supervised environment for non-violent offenders

· $52,250 to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for rebuilding the existing dilapidated Inspection Lane to reduce the average waiting time of vehicle inspection and registration for customers

· $500,000 to upgrade and enhance the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning system at the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital & Medical Center

· $500,500 to upgrade the electrical system, replace the medical vacuum system, and replace the cracked boiler system at the Schneider Regional Medical Center

· $400,000 to repair the roofs of the Juanita Gardine and Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School buildings

· $500,000 to the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority for the relocation of critical overhead feeders to an underground system in the downtown area of St. Croix to improve pedestrian safety and facilitate quicker power restoration following hurricanes and major wind storms

The Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas carries out the Secretary’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories, including American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Additional responsibilities include administration and oversight of federal assistance provided to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau under the Compacts of Free Association.