Chamber Sounds Alarm on VIPA’s Trailer Storage Plan at Enighed

Members of the St. John chapter of the St. Thomas/St. John Chamber of Commerce were distressed to discover at the chapter’s Wednesday evening, March 30, meeting at Ocean Grille, that the V.I. Port Authority’s plans for its Enighed Pond Marine Facility could put cars waiting for the barge out on the street, causing gridlock in the area.

VIPA will go before the St. John Costal Zone Management Committee on Wednesday, April 7, at noon at the St. John Legislature to seek a permit for the paving of the area inside Enighed Pond where cars currently line up to wait for the barge for the storage of trailers.

Included in VIPA’s application is the construction of 150 parking spaces at Enighed, which the authority anticipated would be ready for the public to use by this month before it became apparent that a CZM permit was needed.

VIPA also hopes to construct a new dock master’s building at Enighed with three offices, a two-story reception area and two public bathrooms. The paving for trailer storage and dock master’s building projects are currently out to bid, and the bidding period is set to close on April 9.

St. John chapter representative Kate Norfleet urged chamber members to attend the April 7 CZM meeting, both to voice support for the new parking spaces, and to share concern over the trailer storage.

“We need to take our concerns to the CZM meeting with a positive approach,” said Norfleet. “We need to be proactive. The goal is the best solution for St. John.”

Several members suggested taking concerns to the new island planner, Stuart Smith.

“We need to start filtering our concerns to him, because he’s the big picture guy,” said Senate President Louis Patrick Hill’s St. John representative, Bonny Corbeil.

“The planner is looking at the whole thing from a very big place,” Norfleet added.

Involvement of the Army Corps of Engineers was brought up as something that could both hinder the construction of the new parking spaces, and as something that could delay the paving of a portion of Enighed Pond for trailer storage.

“There’s a slight possibility Army Corps of Engineers wants to be involved (with the new parking), and it would be a much longer wait,” said Norfleet. “Staying proactive as a group is the best thing we can do.”

Norfleet also told the group about the new web site,, where residents can discuss the future of St. John. The site, entitled “St. John: Planning for Today and Tomorrow; Community Planning by Residents, for Residents,” features a forum where topics such as what to do with the island’s waterfront, parking and the growth of Coral Bay are already being discussed.

“This will help us consolidate information to present to the powers that be so St. John can have a real voice,” said Norfleet. “We need tremendous input from everybody.”