Responding to complaints from the public regarding illegal conduct and the overall state of businesses in Cruz Bay, St. John Administrator Leona Smith met recently with owners of local businesses who are leasing government land. Smith surveyed establishments from Denzil Clyne Car Rental to Joe’s Diner in an effort to ensure the town is kept clean.
The administrator toured the local businesses with Department of Public Works St. John Deputy Director Ira Wade.
“The reason for these meetings was complaints we received in regards to not keeping the area clean, and people have seen illegal activity in the surrounding areas,” said Smith. “We’re asking business owners to be vigilant and if they see something suspicious to let us know. If we have any idea that the folks leasing property from the government are involved in these illegal activities, their licenses will be revoked, so we’re asking everyone to be on board with us.”
Smith asked the local businesses on government land to keep their property clean and to ensure their patrons are not spilling out onto the sidewalk and street, she added.
“We asked them to do what they have to do to keep the place in a good sanitary condition,” said Smith. “We asked them to maintain their patrons so they’re not all over the place. We want them to work with the government, and we’ll do what we’re supposed to do on our end.”
Government officials received a positive response from business owners, who seemed interested in cooperating, Smith explained. Some businesses reported difficulty getting police to respond to illegal activity.
“They had some questions about when to call the police if they see illegal activity,” said Smith. “They told us that sometimes the police don’t respond, and we told them we’ll work on our end to make sure that doesn’t happen again. If it does, I told them to give my office a call.”
Just days after the administrator’s meeting with local business owners, the Senate approved a 20-year lease for a new location for Delbert Hill Taxi and Jeep Rental in Cruz Bay on goverment land. The property is 15,699 square feet and monthly rent will be $3,598. It was unclear as of press time where the property is located.
Smith plans to continue meeting with other Cruz Bay business owners to ensure their properties are kept clean and free of illegal activity. The administrator urged residents to remain vigilant in reporting violations to her office at 776-6484.