The federal government is going to give the territory more than $10 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, discretionary grant funds for improvements to the Gordon A. Finch Port on St. Croix’s south shore, according to Delegate Stacey Plaskett.
“While in Philadelphia for the National Democratic Convention I received a call from Secretary Anthony Foxx informing me that the U.S. Virgin Islands would be receiving $10.66 million in TIGER Grant funding for the Gordon Finch Port improvement Project," Plaskett said.
The application for the TIGER Grant funding was submitted by the Virgin Islands Port Authority under Director Carlton Dowe and Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp, according to Plaskett.
The funding announcement comes amid Plaskett’s months-long effort to underscore the importance of transshipment and infrastructure investment to the growth of the Virgin Islands economy, she said.
"Earlier in my term, I met in my office with Secretary Foxx, letting him know how important waterway transportation, marine and air transportation, and the transshipment industry are for the future of the Virgin Islands. In other discussions with Secretary Foxx and his staff, I was happy to help support this project and work to focus the Department of Transportation on this and other related areas of support to assist with the growth of our economy. During my trip to Panama as part of the U.S. Delegation during the ceremonial re-opening of the Panama Canal in June, I was also able to share with transportation, and other, officials, the transshipment potential of the Virgin Islands and its ability to participate in the global transshipment expansion the Panama Canal now offers,” Plaskett said.
She said the “funding comes at an opportune time for the territory, as there is a major opportunity for transshipment to support the growth of our economy," crediting the V.I. government for its efforts to get the funding and President Barack Obama’s administration and Foxx for granting it.