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Downtown Firefighters Moving to Sub Base

Dec. 15, 2005 – The twenty some fire fighters at the Fort Christian Fire Station, known as Hotel Company, in Charlotte Amalie will be moving to a new work place soon.
Glenn Francis, fire chief for the St. Thomas/St. John District, told members of the V.I. Port Authority Governing Board Wednesday that the renovation (sand blasting) at Fort Christian was causing a severe dust problem at the station. He said the dust has been coming in through a vent.
Francis has been looking for the last couple of months for a building out of which the firefighters could operate while the fort renovation continues over the next six months.
He told the board that the only building that would meet all the needs of Fire Service, including a place for its trucks, was the Kline Building, owned by the V.I. Port Authority and located in Sub Base. He asked that Fire Services be allowed to use the building.
Although, members expressed the wish to help Fire Services, some concerns were raised. Board chairman Robert O'Connor Jr., asked, "What if after six months they can't leave? We can't put them out."
George Phillips, a board member and Public Works commissioner, said the finding of "the remains of dead people" has already delayed the fort renovation project. He added, "We would hope there are no more delays, but we should be mindful that they may need more than six months."
Board member Leslie Milliner said the authority had to encourage the Bureau of Internal Revenue with its plans to move into the building.
Darlan Brin, VIPA executive director, said that BIR had a long process yet to go through and would not be ready to move within six months.
Fire Services will be responsible for utilities during the six months it is permitted to use the building.
Francis said after the meeting that his department was going to immediately begin moving to the new building.
Francis added that the department is looking for a permanent place to relocate the Fort Christian station, but still has a long way to go before that is settled.

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