Updated: Aug 4, 2022
Senator Genevieve Whitaker met with Liberty VI General Manager Bala Balakrishnan, and the USVI General Manager for Liberty Attorney Wanda Perez concerning the lease agreements
Senator Genevieve Whitaker and staff met with Liberty VI General Manager Bala Balakrishnan, and the USVI General Manager for Liberty Attorney Wanda Perez-Alverez on July 5, 2022, for a follow-up discussion as part of the ongoing discussions and oversight on the status of improvements of services throughout the territory. Additionally, Senator Whitaker met with Liberty concerning the lease agreements, particularly the Lease agreement on the West End area of St. Thomas for the Fortuna area (Bordeaux). The contract with Liberty required certain coverage and specified the location of where the tower will be placed. During the July 7, 2022 Rules and Judiciary Committee hearing Senator Whitaker shared that Liberty has no say where the locations are, it is in a contract that is binding, and only the government of the Virgin Islands determines (the lead entity is the Bureau of Information Technology) who chose the location of the towers.
Senator Whitaker during the meeting with Liberty raised the concerns that the Fortuna lease was approved before a public hearing was conducted. In several instances, the government has verbally and have done written statements stating a functioning Fire Station will be placed in Bordeaux, St. Thomas. The residents have been advocating for emergency services in that area for a long time as well as promises for a community center. The tower is scheduled to be built by March 2023; due to preceding issues Liberty may not make the deadline because currently, they don’t have a lease.
Lastly, Senator Whitaker encourages Liberty and the VI Government to re-evaluate their plan and work with the citizens of the Virgin Islands.
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