In addition to authorizing and appropriating money for a major park in Coral Bay, the Omnibus Authorization Act of 2010 also restored $4 million for a St. John parking structure.
Passed by the V.I. Senate on September 22, the bill includes a provision to restore a $4 million appropriation first passed almost five years ago.
Senator at Large Craig Barshinger originally ushered a bill through the senate which included the appropriation during his previous term in office. The funds were re-appropriated to projects on St. Thomas, however, during the time Barshinger was unseated by Carmen Wesselhoft.
Now, those funds — from bond reserve interest — could be restored if Governor John deJongh signs the Omnibus Bill into law. The governor had 10 days from September 23 to take action on the legislation.
“With the help of my colleagues, we restored the $4 million for a multi-level parking structure,” said Barshinger. “The governor never should have been allowed to take that money, but now it’s back.”
St. John Rescue also scored with the Omnibus Authorization Act. The bill includes a provision to allow the volunteer emergency response organization to lease government property on Gifft Hill for $1 a year. The organization can now get to work on a structure to house its equipment and vehicles in a central location for the first time in its history.
“St. John Rescue performs a government service that we would otherwise have to provide,” said Barshinger.