April 16, 2004 – After two months of protests against the planned sale of Vessup Beach, the Red Hook Community Alliance has won the support of one public official.
Sen. Louis Hill is sponsoring legislation calling on the V.I. government to obtain the land around the East End St. Thomas beach by eminent domain. The bill, which is scheduled to be taken up by the Senate on April 26, provides for "an appropriation to be taken from the debt service reserves" for the purchase and preservation of property surrounding Vessup and Muller bays.
The bill calls specifically for $3 million from the interest earned on the debt service reserves to be used for the purchase.
The Red Hook Community Alliance has been fighting since February against the planned sale of the land surrounding Vessup Beach to Lionstone Inc., a Miami developer.
Andrea King, alliance president, said on Friday that the organization will meet at 6 p.m. Monday on the Marlin Deck at American Yacht Harbor to discuss Hill's bill and how the group will "move forward" in working with the government.
"We got Senator Hill to write legislation for support of the beach," King said. "It's a real exercise in democracy."
She said alliance representatives will be at the April 26 Senate meeting to show support for Hill and the legislation. "We're hopeful," she said.
Meanwhile, the group has been circulating a petition asking the Senate and the governor to support Hill's measure. "We got 1,200 signatures in 13 days," King said. "That's all local people who have an interest in saving Vessup Beach."
King had said earlier in a release that alliance members would hand deliver copies of the petition to each senator's office and to Government House on Monday.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name, and the city and state/country or island where you reside.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Thomas Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.