ST. CROIX — During a recent cabinet meeting, Governor Kenneth Mapp is said to have encouraged his commissioners and directors to move expeditiously in getting projects off the ground, which would in turn see the circulation of funds in the local economy. “Our cause is to rebuild, strengthen and grow the Virgin Islands,” he said, according to Government House.
Mr. Mapp is depending on billions of dollars being poured into the territory through the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of the federal response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria. He said some $8 billion is being made available to the U.S. Virgin Islands, but stressed that the availability of funds would be dependent on his administrations ability to tap into the federal programs. To that end, Mr. Mapp told his commissioners and directors to study the memorandum prepared in this regard to ensure that the U.S. Virgin Islands received all the assistance for which it was eligible, according to Government House.
“It is essential that every agency has a complete understanding of what to expect and the resources available. We are really ramping up now to repair and reconstruct our government offices and infrastructure. There is no agency that will not have access to at least some federal assistance,” Mr. Mapp said.
The governor’s directive was followed by that of his senior policy advisor, Juel Molloy, who also urged haste. “It is really an opportunity to do so many things that the territory has wanted to do for years,” she said.
Mr. Mapp said his administration must expand its capacity to process contracts and execute rebuilding plans, and would soon begin advertising to fill a variety of new jobs. Positions available will include project managers, paralegals, attorneys, administrative assistants, contract specialists and information officers.