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Cruz Bay
Wednesday, October 5, 2022


Only emergency vehicles will be able to get gas in the coming days as the government's fuel supplier on St. Thomas has again cut off service for lack of payment.
Esso Virgin Islands made the decision to stop supplying gas to the government Monday due to a past due balance of $40,000 as of the end of June.
"I wouldn't call it anything major or anything out of order, but I have a private company to run. After I give 75 days of credit without interest, I have to be paid," said Carl Boisson, manager and vice president of Esso Virgin Islands. "My suppliers don't give me that much credit."
The government's total balance with Esso is $172,000, but only the $40,000 is currently past due, Boisson said.
Gas service was last cut off in December when Esso and other fuel companies stopped supplying fuel to the government motor pool. The motor pool has since closed and the government now issues credit-card-type "fleet cards" to its employees to buy gas for vehicles.
Government vehicles can use the card at Gottleib's Esso station in Contant and the Tutu Esso station. Esso tallies up the amount of gas purchased at the end of each month and the government then has 60 days to issue reimbursement, which ends up giving the government 75 days of credit, Boisson said.
Boisson said he had not been able to reach Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull or others in her department.
"I tried to contact the Comissioner last week and the week before and I haven't been lucky," he said. "I left messages in St. Thomas and St. Croix that I need to be paid."
A concern for the community prompted Esso's decision to continue supplying police and fire vehicles, VITRAN buses and ambulances, Boisson said.
"The fleet cards will enable us to keep the emergency vehicles running," he said. "We are a part of the community and even though we aren't getting paid, we don't want to cut off those important services."
Due to the Hurricane Supplication Day holiday, no one at Government House or Department of Finance officials could be reached for comment.
Boisson said this was the third or fourth time Esso has cut off the government in the two-and-a-half years he has been the manager.
"I'm in a position where I cannot go on," he said. "This is as long as I can hold on."

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