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Charlotte Amalie
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HomeNewsArchivesWest End Alliance Wants Bordeaux-Fortuna Center for Community

West End Alliance Wants Bordeaux-Fortuna Center for Community

March 12, 2007 — After fighting and winning the battle to improve emergency-response services on the West End of St. Thomas, a large segment of residents now hopes to champion another cause: to have the Bordeaux-Fortuna Multipurpose Center permanently deeded over to the West End community.
During a general meeting of the West End Alliance Sunday afternoon, residents explained that the V.I. Housing Finance Authority currently owns the facility, originally intended for commercial use.
"In a meeting with the authority's director, Mr. Clifford Graham, I was told that the authority does want the land back," said Sheri Meyers, president of the West End Alliance.
Later in the meeting, Daryl George, special assistant to the director of Fire Services, added that the Housing Finance Authority will propose three alternative sites on the West End, which could house a proper multipurpose facility designed to hold police, fire and emergency medical services.
A larger facility would work better for storing large pieces of equipment, such as a new 2,500-gallon firetruck for the West End station, he said. The truck is on order, but problems with the government's new financial-management system have delayed its arrival.
The vehicle would replace the station's current truck, now 30 years old. While residents seemed satisfied with the idea of a new truck, they expressed opposition to moving the multipurpose center. "This is the perfect location for it," one resident said. "You can see every part of the West End and keep track of everything that's going on."
The alliance will soon sit down with Gov. John deJongh Jr. to discuss the issue, Meyers said. "The new administration has indicated that they are willing to work with us, and listen to what we have to say," she said. "So we will be meeting with the governor very soon and we will let you know what happens."
In other news, community members unanimously voted to allow the Elections System of the Virgin Islands to open a new polling site on the West End. Members of the West End Alliance learned about the possibility of a new site at a recent meeting of the St. Thomas-St. John District Board of Elections, Meyers said.
"According to Mr. Lawrence Boschulte (chairman of the St. Thomas-St. John District Board of Elections), the board was thinking about shutting down the polling site at Oswald Harris Court, and putting one up in the West End area," she explained. "They said they will be conducting a survey in the near future to find out what the residents think."
Echoing the sentiments of many in the audience, alliance board member Ludrick "Ludie T" Thomas said a polling site on the West End would give the community "more of a voice."
"The voice of the people is always in the ballot box," he said. "So if the West End has a site, the officials will be more likely to come down here and see what our problems are. Right now, people get elected without ever having paid a visit to the West End."
During the meeting, alliance members and residents also discussed:
— bringing emergency-medical technicians to the center because the Bordeaux- Fortuna Multipurpose Center has no EMT presence;
— bringing potable water lines to the West End;
— reducing the number of abandoned vehicles in the area (a discussion led by St. Thomas-Water Island Administrator Barbara Petersen); and
— organizing various committees within the West End Alliance, so residents have the opportunity to become more involved with the community's most pressing issues.
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