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Thursday, September 29, 2022


The West Indian Co. has signed a six-month lease for a home in Estate Elizabeth for Gov. Charles W. Turnbull until repairs are completed at Catharineberg on Denmark Hill, WICO President Edward Thomas said Thursday.
Thomas, responding to a Daily News story saying V.I. taxpayers were footing the $7,000-a-month lease for the home, said WICO was renting the home for Turnbull for six months because potentially dangerous bacteria have been found at Catharineberg.
The six months will allow time to repair the former Danish consulate, which has been used as the governor's residence since the late '80s.
The same bacteria have been identified in some areas of Government House, according to documents released by WICO, and consultants have recommended that workers in the affected areas be moved too.
The Daily News story on Catharineberg evoked controversy that spilled over onto Sam Topp's morning talk radio show in view of Turnbull's announcement Tuesday that government workers would not be paid as usual this week because of a lack of funds, deferring payroll until sometime next week.
Thomas called the talk show to verify the terms of the lease and to explain WICO'S role and position. Thomas said WICO, a fully independent company, owns Catharineberg. He explained that WICO made the alternative arrangement for the governor due to health hazards at the Catharineberg property.
Thomas later told St. Thomas Source that he had sent a report to the Daily News Wednesday afternoon, "to Mr. (Ed) Crouch himself," with the details of the lease.
"All they had to do was say the governor was moving out because the man's health is in jeopardy," he said, referring to the front page headline, "$7,000 a month. New residence for Turnbull" juxtaposed next to a headline reading "Payless payday."
Editor's note: For the full text of WICO's statement, go to Local Government News.

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