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Confusion Over Senate Meeting Schedule Stalls Harbor Dredging Funding Talks

  • Nelcia Charlemagne
  • May 21, 2024

An important discussion on soft cost funding for the dredging of the Charlotte Amalie Harbor was struck from the agenda of Tuesday’s meeting of the Senate Committee on Budget, Appropriations and Finance, after key members of the government finance team failed to attend the hearing.  Bill 35-0262 was an Act appropriating $1,434,950 in Fiscal Year 2024 from the Community Facilities Trust Fund for the pre-construction soft cost funding to prepare the Charlotte Amalie Harbor for dredging. Invited were Finance Commissioner Kevin McCurdy, along with other senior government officials, none of whom were in attendance. Additionally, no correspondence seeking to be excused was received by the committee from any of the no-shows.  This prompted the Committee chair Senator Donna Frett-Gregory to request the bill’s removal from the agenda. “I am not inclined to proceed…absent of the representatives of the government that have to speak to whether the $1,434,950 is in fact available to be expended f...