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HomeNewsArchivesFYI: Barshinger Spearheads Christiansted Revitalization Town Meeting

FYI: Barshinger Spearheads Christiansted Revitalization Town Meeting

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On Tuesday, March 2, Senator Craig Barshinger hosted a Town Meeting focused on the revitalization of Christiansted, St. Croix. Panelists included Nadine Marchena, Enterprise Zone Commission chair; Dodson James, St. Croix administrator for the Governor; Lorna Thomas, director of the State Historic Zone Commission; Roger Dewey, St. Croix Foundation; and Scot McChain, Chamber of Commerce chairperson. Panelists addressed the audience with an overview of their respective areas on services they provide and how their agencies can be of assistance in revitalizing the town of Christiansted. The audience was informed of incentives in place for the revitalization of commercial buildings and about other beneficial programs like the Governor’s Task Force for town revitalization, the abandoned car program and programs for preserving historic sites. It was agreed that there is a need for tax legislation as an incentive to keep up properties and for the implementation of an overall action plan to revitalize the town.
More than 50 people attended the meeting, the majority of them being business owners. The following issues underscored the concerns of the residents and business owners: the lack of sufficient parking, the process for the renewal of a business license, the scale of the revitalization, restrictions on abandoned buildings due to historic value, the failure of property owners to keep up their property, the lack of the Department of Public Safety in enforcing parking laws, the status of the bypass and homelessness in the streets. Those in attendance made the following suggestions: Make the process for license renewal business friendly, Implement a “Golf Cart Friendly” transportation program, encourage government agencies to work together on the task force and include an anthropologist and sociologist in the planning.
Sen. Barshinger was delighted that many in attendance were concerned about the beautification of Christiansted. Participants did not just come to listen and criticize. They willingly shared their ideas of what can be done to uplift the town. The Senator plans to work with other agencies in addressing the revitalization of both Christiansted and Frederiksted. Sen. Barshinger said, “I believe town meetings are an important link in keeping up with the ongoing concerns of the citizens of the Virgin Islands. My staff and I thank all those who came out and we look forward to holding future town meetings in Frederiksted and Charlotte Amalie.”
On Tuesday, March 23, Sen. Barshinger will host a town meeting on the revitalization of Frederiksted. The meeting is scheduled from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in St. Gerard’s Hall at St. Patrick Church. Business owners and residents are invited to attend to share their ideas and to learn how government agencies can be of assistance in removing blight from their community. For more information, call 712-2307.
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