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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, January 26, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesCoki Shutdown Starts With Full Day of Cleanup

Coki Shutdown Starts With Full Day of Cleanup

Starting around 7 a.m. Monday, crews from various government agencies hit Coki Point Beach on St. Thomas for a full day of cleanup, which included everything from clearing debris to beginning moving out abandoned cars littering the roadsides.
Last month Gov. John deJongh Jr. announced that starting Aug. 2, he would be shutting down operations at and around the beach for 10 days so the government could spruce up the area and clamp down on illegal activities that were put in the spotlight after a recent shootout on the road leading up to the beach left two teenagers — one local male and a 14-year-old tourist — dead.
The recent shootout was unrelated to Coki’s crime problems, but residents said it highlighted the need to really clean house, which many have been advocating for years.
The process started as soon as the sun came up Monday, with crews from Public Works, Police, Licensing and Consumer Affairs, Planning and Natural Resources, Housing, Parks and Recreation, and Waste Management scouring the streets with everything from their bare hands to backhoes.
Assistant Housing Commissioner Stanley Smith said Housing employees began cleaning up the Coki entrance, roadsides, adjacent gravesite and beach area — along with removing derelict cars.
The government has also been able to get cleanup authorization from some of the families that own a portion of the property surrounding the beach, which includes the cemetery.
Vendors in the area were already sent a notice to clear the beach for the 10 days while work is ongoing. With the exception of one or two, who did set up their stands and said they had court documents stating they could stay there, there was generally little fuss, Smith said.
"We had a good start today, and hope it continues tomorrow and for the next week or so — however long it takes us to get this done," he said.

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