Despite a ceremonial groundbreaking filled with pomp and circumstance more than four months ago, the V.I. Police Department has not taken the required first step toward constructing a Coral Bay substation.
In an elaborate late-October 2006 ceremony, then-Governor Charles Turnbull and other government dignitaries used golden shovels to push dirt at the site of the planned VIPD substation, adjacent to the Coral Bay Fire Station.
While appropriations have been earmarked, VIPD officials have not submitted the necessary application for a major Coastal Zone Management permit, according to Department of Planning and Natural Resources spokesperson Jamal Nielsen.
“They are going to need a major CZM permit and they have not submitted an application at this time,” said Nielsen.
“Legal Issues” Hamper Process
Unspecified legal issues have been holding up the process, according to VIPD spokesperson Shawna Richards.
“At this time the police department is resolving some legal issues which hampered the application process,” said Richards. “We anticipate those issues will be resolved shortly and there will be, once resolved, no further delays.”
Richards, however, refused to elaborate on what the specific “legal issues” were and declined to state a projected date on which the department is hoping to submit its major CZM application.
“I’m not going to comment on when,” said Richards.
Since the VIPD will need a major CZM permit to construct the building, police officials must go through the CZM Committee process by first filing an application which will be reviewed by several agencies. Once the application is deemed complete a public hearing will be scheduled and comments from the public will be entertained.
The process can take anywhere from six months to a year, depending on how quickly the application is deemed complete and if supplemental information is needed.
In the meantime, VIPD officials operate out of a small office at the Coccoloba shopping complex in Coral Bay. The VIPD temporary substation phone number is 774-1111.