The members of the 33rd Legislature will meet in Committee of the Whole on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 to receive an update on the status of the territory’s disaster recovery. Representatives from the Office of Disaster Recovery, the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority, AECOM and APTIM have been invited to attend.
Senate President Novelle E. Francis, Jr. is anticipating that the testifiers will provide needed clarity on ongoing recovery initiatives, to include infrastructure improvements and home repairs. “I don’t believe that there is consensus on where we are in terms of hurricane recovery, especially when the recovery hasn’t been evenly experienced across all sectors of the community,” Francis said. “Two years after the 2017 hurricanes, we still have people who are unsure about whether their homes will be repaired and feel overlooked in this recovery process. Our tax base is impacted when local subcontractors aren’t paid and our economic growth – which relies heavily on infrastructure improvement, to include the buildout of our hospitals and schools, has been slow to start.”
Francis says he and his colleagues expect to do a deep dive into the activities and process of organizations tasked with disaster recovery. “The community deserves to know what is happening with the territory’s disaster recovery. None of this should be a mystery, especially as residents and policymakers alike are making decisions that will have impacts over the short and long term.”
Francis encourages the community to view the meeting on Legit TV (VIYA Channel 26) or via livestream at legvi.org. The hearing will also be broadcasted on 91.9 FM.