ST. CROIX — Governor Kenneth Mapp speaking on local radio Wednesday afternoon revealed that the federal government approved and will cover all the costs of the demolition and reconstruction of the Charles Harwood Medical Complex, located in Richmond, where the Department of Health operated before Hurricane Maria struck the territory last year.
“Charles Harwood is completely written off,” Mr. Mapp said while speaking on 103.5 F.M. The Reef, on the popular Mario Moorhead Show. He added that to repair the complex would cost 128 percent of the cost to demolish and rebuild it. “The federal government is going to pay for its demolition and reconstruction of a new clinical facility at that site,” the governor made known.
“That’s the kind of assessments and decisions that’s going on in the community,” he said.
Mr. Mapp also said that the Arthur Richards Junior High School located in Frederiksted was approved for demolition and reconstruction, along with the Addelita Cancryn Junior High School on St. Thomas, which will be reconstructed near the University of the Virgin Islands.
“The Julius Sprauve School on St. John [will be] completely demolished and reconstructed as a new school, and there’s going to be others,” Mr. Mapp continued. “We’ve got to work through them with FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers and our consultant. And when they all arrive at the infamous 50-plus percent line, then under the Stafford Act we qualify for demolition and reconstruction.”
The governor was on the talk radio show to defend his record as he faces a tough reelection bid in November. He said he needed to get out more — including to neighborhoods across the territory — to make his case as to why he should be reelected for a second term. At one point, Mr. Mapp took at swipe at his opponents, bluntly stating that they are not prepared to lead the territory.
“They’re very nice people,” the governor said of his challengers. “But they’re really not able, because I’m hearing some of them. They’re not ready.”
Setting the stage to make another point, the governor quoted his longtime friend Ann Abramson, who he said taught him the following quote: Don’t give a monkey a musket to mind, because the monkey will take up the musket and shoot you, as it doesn’t know any better.
“So you have to make sure you put people who are capable to do the work you have to do,” Mr. Mapp said. The governor said he’s not a perfect man and would make mistakes, “But the people of the Virgin Islands have to decide who they want to manage their affairs.”
Pivoting to the Limetree Bay oil refining agreement, the governor pushed back on the notion that the agreement ratified was bad because of the tax incentives included in it. “If you want a dollar from us, that dollar has value and we have to respect that there is a return. You want to do business like ArcLight in the Virgin Islands, we’re happy to have you, but we want real, dependable revenue streams from the operation,” Mr. Mapp said. The territory’s leader was referring to the government’s revenue sharing deal with ArcLight Partners and LimeTree Bay Terminals, as compared to a tax agreement that depends on how the company performs in any given year.
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