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Friday, October 7, 2022


With the Beal Aerospace proposal for St. Croix’s Great Pond Bay still in limbo, encouraging words have come from Andrew Beal himself after meeting with Gov. Charles Turnbull in Dallas on Monday.
"We had very candid discussions and lengthy dialogue about our proposed project on St. Croix, and took particular effort to clarify points of confusion about our project," Beal said in a release Monday afternoon. "We look forward to a very long and prosperous relationship with the people of the Virgin Islands."
Turnbull and Rudy Krigger, assistant to the governor for Fiscal Policy and Economic Affairs, left the territory Friday to meet with Beal in Dallas. Before he left, Turnbull said he was going to "convey the government's support for the establishment of the proposed Beal plant at a St. Croix location."
That "location" is the key to Beal Aerospace locating its world headquarters and rocket assembly on St. Croix. Currently, the Beal proposal is stalled in the V.I. Legislature pending action on a land exchange agreement that includes Beal acquiring 14.5 acres of government-owned land near Great Pond Bay in exchange for two parcels it owns in Grange Hill and Estate Whim.
Beal holds the option to approximately 280 acres of land off of Great Pond Bay on St. Croix’s rural southeast shore. The company needs the 14.5 Camp Arawak parcel for a portion of its parking lot and buffer zone surrounding its proposed facility.
The Camp Arawak land, however, was deeded to the V.I. government in 1974 for the sole purpose of being developed for public park land for the people of the Virgin Islands. The entire 280-plus acres would also have to be rezoned for industrial use.
Opponents of the development at Great Pond want Beal and the V.I. Port Authority to work out a deal so the company can purchase land VIPA owns near the already industrialized area of the island.
Although Beal in his statement alluded to a "long and prosperous relationship" with the territory, he was vague about any movement to locate operations at Betty’s Hope. Beal said the meeting with Turnbull was a chance to reiterate the "attributes and advantages" of the project.
"We specifically underscored our commitment to environmental protection and our desire to work with the governor, the government and the people of the USVI to everyone’s greatest benefit," Beal said.
Meanwhile, after his stop in Texas, Turnbull and his Cabinet officials will met with federal officials in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the territory's financial crisis. Turnbull will return to the territory on Aug. 5.

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