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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, July 19, 2024


A disagreement between a commercial property owner and V.I. National Park officials over restroom facilities has prompted a senator to convene a meeting of his committee on St. John to try to "work something out."
At issue is the closing of two individual public restrooms at a popular tourist stopping place on Bordeaux Mountain. The facilities were constructed six months ago at the behest of Wilma Monsanto, owner of the property where the Chateau Bordeaux restaurant, a snack bar and gift shops are located, but not on her own land. She had them built on adjacent parkland.
Last month, V.I. National Park Supt. Russell Berry closed the water closets down, saying they were discharging sewage into the valley below. He also said that Monsanto never had a permit from the National Park Service to build the facilities.
The only restroom facilities at the complex, next to the Bordeaux overlook, are at Chateau Bordeaux; however, the restaurant is open only for dinner, not during the day.
Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg said in a release Friday that he believes the issue can be resolved with the cooperation of the National Park Service, the Public Works Department and the entrepreneurs doing business at the site. Toward that end, he has scheduled a meeting of the Senate Planning and Environmental Protection Committee on Monday, July 31, at 10 a.m. in the St. John Legislature Building conference room.
He is asking representatives of the National Park Service and the Planning and Natural Resources, Public Works and Tourism Departments to be present.
The closing of the restrooms "is inconveniencing tourists, taxi drivers and local business people," Donastorg said. "It is my hope that we can work something out to everyone's benefit, while ensuring the environment is protected."
Anyone wishing to testify at the July 31 hearing is asked to advise Donastorg's office in advance by calling 693-3665.

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