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GOVERNMENT OUT OF GAS

Government vehicles, including emergency vehicles, were running on empty or not running at all over the weekend after gasoline wholesalers refused to supply any more gas.
The problem, according to the Independent and Daily News: the government's failure to pay long-overdue bills.
Payments have been late before, according to Carl Boisson, vice president and manager of Esso Virgin Islands, but his company's cash situation has deteriorated to the point where service had to be cut off.
Samuel Baptiste, acting Property and Procurement commissioner, said the government owes nearly $100,000 to Esso Virgin Islands and Hovensa for gas and fuel, according to the Daily News. Baptiste said the Finance Department will release a check today and fuel will be available.
Police Benevolent Association President Elroy Raymo expressed regret at having to expose the situation to criminals but said the non-payment is becoming epidemic.
"We cannot fight the war on crime with our hands tied behind our back," Raymo said, urging government officials to devise a backup plan for similar emergencies in the future.

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