85 F
Cruz Bay
Wednesday, September 28, 2022


A $5 million construction grant given to the Virgin Islands by Congress last week has been taken away and sent to Guam, V.I. Delegate Donna Christian-Christensen announced in a release Friday.
The Clinton Administration's fiscal year 2000 budget originally proposed giving the money to Guam, but the Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Interior and Related Agencies Subcommittee decided to provide the funds to the Virgin Islands instead.
"It is very disappointing that the Full Appropriations Committee decided to take this action and use this source of funding to reinstate the President's proposal to provide additional assistance to Guam," Christensen said in a statement.
"It is even more disappointing that they took these actions in the first place, thus pitting the needs of one US Territory against another," she said.
The grant was given to the territory to help the government complete court mandated construction projects, such a the rebuilding of schools and prison expansion.
It was granted, however, on the condition the territory meet, "key financial and accountability standards," in its economic recovery plan.
Government House had no immediate comment Friday evening.
Christensen said she has already met with Guam's delegate to Congress over the matter.
"Delegate Underwood and I have discussed this and both understand each other's needs," she said in her statement. "We are determined to have it resolved in such a manner that both territories receive the financial assistance we need."
Christensen also believes the grant-switch is not finalized.
"This is an issue that will be decided… when the House and Senate Appropriations Committees meet in Conference to resolve the difference between the two bills," she said. "We have made sure that all parties involved are fully recognizant of the problems the both the Virgin Islands and Guam are experiencing and have pledged to find the additional dollars to provide assistance to both of us."

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.