Sen. Barnes Plans Town Halls to Discuss CZM Bill

Sen. Alicia Barnes expresses frustration with the representative from various government agencies testifying Wednesday on hurricane preparedness. (Photo by Barry Leerdam, USVI Legislature)
Sen. Alicia Barnes (Photo by Barry Leerdam, USVI Legislature)

The Office of Senator Alicia V. Barnes will host a town hall meeting from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 3, in the Cleone Henrietta Creque Legislative Conference Room, 1D Cruz Bay, St. John and from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 4, at the Frederick Dorsch Cultural Center, located at 602 Strand Street, Frederiksted, St. Croix.

Senator Alicia V. Barnes thanks her colleagues for supporting amendments to Bill No. 33-0105, a bill amending the coastal zone management act during the meeting of the Committee on Rules and Judiciary on Jan. 23.

The Virgin Islands Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Act has had no meaningful updates since 1978, and the bill sponsored by Sen. Barnes proposes to change the names of the offices, committees and position titles to reflect the current names; increase the standard cost utilized for the determination of the type of permit being requested; and, most importantly, seek to streamline and make more efficient the time required for residents and prospective investors to apply and navigate the CZM permit process.

Because of the technical nature of the proposed bill and some misunderstanding as to the bill’s purpose, Barnes moved to hold Bill No. 33-0105 in the Committee on Rules and Judiciary, so that educational town hall meetings can be held in both districts to educate residents on the bill.

Barnes said, “Bill No. 33-0105 seeks to be proactive and ensure that government operations are effective and efficient; having public understanding is deeply important to me as we move to reconcile economic development with environmental concerns.”

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