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GVI Schedules Town Hall Meetings on Proposal to Address Abandoned and Derelict Buildings

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Richard Motta
Richard Motta, Communications Director 

During the weekly Government House briefing on Monday, Communications Director Richard Motta announced that Town Hall meetings are scheduled for Aug. 28 and Aug. 30 to discuss the Bryan-Roach Administration’s plans to address the territory’s abandoned and derelict buildings.

Last month, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. announced that the administration is embarking on a plan that will address town and residential neighborhoods — where derelict buildings are more than a blight but are, in fact, real health and safety hazards. Members of the administration met with stakeholders in both districts and the Town Hall meetings continue that effort by engaging the public in conversation on the administration’s proposed approach to abandoned and derelict buildings.

The first Town Hall will be held on Monday, August 28, in the Charlotte Amalie High School Auditorium at 6 p.m. The second town hall will take place on Wednesday, August 30, at the St. Croix Educational Complex at 6 p.m.

In keeping with the administration’s ongoing efforts to invest and improve the territory’s towns, Governor Bryan was on hand Monday at the unveiling of the ‘I Love St. Thomas’ sign located at the newly upgraded Vendors Plaza in Charlotte Amalie. The sign is part of several ongoing projects to improve the town areas throughout the territory including the waterfront areas in Charlotte Amalie, Frederiksted, Christiansted and Cruz Bay.

Director Motta announced that Governor Albert Bryan Jr. has submitted a supplemental budget bill to the 35th Legislature that seeks to reprogram funds previously allocated to the Public Finance Authority for FY2023 capital projects. The supplemental budget mainly appropriates $25,000,000 from the General Fund to pay outstanding retroactive wages owed to eligible current and former employees of the Government of the V.I. and calls for the appropriation and reallocation of other funds to include $118,800 to the Office of Veterans Affairs for additional costs for St. Croix crypts and $5,000,000 to the Department of Public Works from the Transportation Trust Fund.

Motta also said that Commissioner of Agriculture Louis E. Petersen and FSA VI District Director Mark Carlton have announced that livestock producers in St. Croix and St. Thomas are now eligible to apply for direct assistance through the FSA’s Livestock Forage Program (LFP). LFP assistance begins when severe drought lasts 8 weeks or more, with payments increasing when an exceptional drought threshold is reached, as happened earlier this year on St. Croix.

All livestock deaths due to the drought and high-temperature index are to be reported to the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) located at 4401 Sion Farms, Suite 2, Christiansted. Additionally, USDA FSA is accepting applications for crop production losses associated with the drought, but only for those farmers who had previously signed up for the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) in December of 2022. For further information on the LFP, NAP, and other programs, farmers are urged to make an appointment with Madison Charles, USDA FSA Program Technician in charge, by calling 340-773-9146 extension 100.

And finally, Motta said the Division of Personnel announced that Annual Open Enrollment will take place beginning Monday, Aug. 14 through Friday, September 15, 2023. During this time, all active Government employees and retirees can take this opportunity to enroll, make changes to their health plan and life insurance, and/or update their beneficiaries.

The Division of Personnel will host a series of Open Enrollment sessions, territory-wide, in collaboration with the partnering healthcare providers to ensure that both employees and retirees can learn more about the benefits they are entitled to. Retirees are strongly encouraged to attend these in-person sessions, as they can now access Bentek. During these retiree sessions, staff members will provide hands-on assistance to all retirees regarding navigation and utilizing the Bentek eligibility system.

In-person and virtual Open Enrollment sessions begin Monday, August 14, and run through Friday, August 18, 2023, and are split between active employees, retirees, and Human Resource officers. For the schedule of virtual sessions available for Active Employees, Human Resource officers, and retirees, please visit or There are in–person sessions for retirees only.