The St. John chapter of the St. Thomas/St. John Chamber of Commerce needs volunteers with some carpentry skills to help fix the north section of Cruz Bay’s dinghy docks, starting at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
“The more people we have, the faster we can get it done,” chapter member Kate Norfleet said.
Both sections of the dinghy dock, which flank the Cruz Bay ferry dock, were hit hard by the fall’s trio of storms. “We’re losing revenue because people can’t pull up to the dock,” Norfleet said.
The south dinghy dock is in nearly as bad shape as the north side, and Wharfside Village shopping center owner Ed McKenzie expects to have his crew fixing that side of the dock on Monday.
“We’ll be pounding nails starting at 9:30 a.m.,” McKenzie said.
Sen. Louis P. Hill scheduled an opening ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday to mark the start of McKenzie’s construction.
Work on both projects is expected to wrap up the same day they start.
McKenzie said his part of the project will cost him around $1,000 for lumber and materials. Norfleet estimated that repairing the north side will cost about $900 to $1,000, which the chamber is raising through donations. The chamber’s construction work is spearheaded by St. John contractor Dan Boyd.
The V.I. Port Authority put the project out for bids, but the process is lengthy. Director Kenn Hobson said that the agency received three bids, but having the private sector do the job was faster than going through the rest of the bidding process. The chamber and McKenzie had to get approval from the Port Authority to do the job, which Hobson gave.
According to Hobson, the pilings that hold up the dock were not damaged. The work to be done by the Chamber and McKenzie involves replacing missing planks.
Hobson said that before the next hurricane season, the dinghy docks will be inspected to make sure they are sound.
St. John Administrator Leona Smith called this another example of the private and public sectors joining to solve St. John’s problems.
“And one thing about St. John, we work together,” she said.