VIPA Barge Fees Will Heavily Impact St. John Residents

Dear Director Brin:

I was very disappointed when a constituent from St. John called my office on Tuesday to inform my staff that the V.I. Port Authority had a quarter-page advertisement in the V.I. Daily News announcing a usage fee to be implemented on Monday, May 8.

Had the constituent not called, I—and I’m sure many other St. Johnians—would not have known about this usage fee. I’m disheartened that you would implement such a fee without any prior public meeting with the St. John residents.

As you well know, many St. Johnians commute between Cruz Bay and Red Hook each day for work and use their vehicles. Also, because the island is not self-sustaining, we depend on commercial vehicles to bring in produce and other items from St. Thomas to our stores.

This fee will no doubt have a huge impact on the residents of St. John, both financially and otherwise. This is too big a change to be done without proper public notice.

For this reason, I ask that you do not implement this fee until you have spoken to the residents at a town meeting set for Thursday evening on St. John, and they get an opportunity to be heard. The residents of St. John deserve no less.

Senator at Large Craig Barshinger