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Plans for Cyril King Airport Upgrades Unveiled By Governor At League of Women Voters Meeting

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Governor Kenneth Mapp addressed the League of Women Voters of the Virgin Islands during their annual meeting at E’s Garden Teahouse on Saturday.

Governor Mapp touched on hurricane recovery, long-term resiliency efforts, tourism, education and many other issues during his remarks and a lengthy question and answer session with League members.

“We have a very bright future ahead,” Mapp said. “But it will require hard work, real tough decisions and creating, establishing and maintaining very strong, vibrant, and positive relationships with our private partners.”

During the meeting, the governor announced that he will unveil the $230 million modernization plan for the Cyril E. King International Airport in June and that the public will soon be invited to community charrettes with the V.I. Port Authority to discuss planned improvements.

Governor Mapp thanked and acknowledged the territory’s partners in Washington who have supported the recovery effort.

“There were one or two items that did not make it through,” he said. “However, we are still working on them.”

League Vice President Gwen-Marie Moolenaar commended the Governor for his presentations to Congress.

“It is clear that you are admired in Washington because we would not have been getting this amount of money so that we could do these things for our hospitals, schools, WAPA, the highways and (to create) all of the job opportunities,” she said.

Moolenaar noted some concerns, however, with the Government’s plans to accommodate larger cruise ships in terms of the potential for increased congestion.

Felecita Richards, President of the League’s Virgin Islands chapter, introduced the Governor on Saturday, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Coordinating Officer, Bill Vogel. The Governor had invited Vogel to join him in order to share a brief recovery update with the group. Vogel represents FEMA Region II which encompasses the states of New Jersey and New York, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Native American Tribes in the Region.

Vogel told League members that FEMA will be in the territory as long as is necessary.

“There is still much work to do,” he said.

The League of Women Voters is an organization that engages in educational efforts and forums on issues affecting the community. This nonpartisan, American civic organization was founded in 1920 to help women take a larger role in public affairs after they won the right to vote.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinating officer William Vogel also spoke at the meeting.

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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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