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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, June 24, 2022


Gov. Charles Turnbull fulfilled part of a judge’s order last week when he designated the Department of Housing, Parks and Recreation as the agency responsible for overseeing the development of Camp Arawak into a park.
After blocking the exchange of public property at Camp Arawak between the V.I.. government and Beal Aerospace on Dec. 15, Territorial Court Judge Alphonso Andrews ordered Turnbull to come up with a "master plan" to develop the 14.5 acres into a park.
The most immediate part of the order called for the governor to pick a department to come up with a "flexible, comprehensive master plan for the use of the property and structures as a park facility."
Turnbull said DHPR will assume the responsibilities detailed in the judge’s decision "until such time as the order is stayed, modified or overturned on appeal."
Beal officials have said the company plans on challenging Andrews’ decision blocking the land exchange agreement, passed by the Senate on Oct. 5.
Andrews said the master plan for the park must also include a means of funding. He also noted that any money collected for the master plan must be deposited in a separate account independent from the V.I. government’s general fund.
The 14.5 acres, commonly called Camp Arawak, was donated to the people of the Virgin Islands by the late Frank Wiesner in 1974. The deed stipulated that the property, which contains the ruins of a Danish colonial-era great house and other cultural and archeological artifacts, was to be developed into a park.
Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and the government’s cash shortfalls, however, have left the great house in disrepair and the property undeveloped.

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