BEGGING FOR A BAILOUT! Mapp Goes Prostrate Before Pence Pleading For More Money
SAYONARA USVI! U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife bid the territory adieu and good luck! Gov. Kenneth Mapp went to Washington D.C. on Monday with hat in hand and begged Pence for more money for the Virgin Islands.
CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Governor Kenneth Mapp said that he met with Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Monday to discuss the status of and to report on the territory’s preparations for the current hurricane season.
Mapp said he profusely thanked the Vice President and the Trump Administration for its “tremendous support in assisting the U.S Virgin Islands recover from the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.” The governor also requested White House support in addressing the bureaucratic hurdles the territory has faced in order to accelerate the recovery process.
Meanwhile, the National Review suggested yesterday that the U.S. Virgin Islands has had money problems for donkey years and that the U.S. Congress should not allocated one red cent for the territory because it has a history of “profligate” misspending of federal tax dollars.
Governor Mapp was accompanied to the White House meeting by Commissioner of Finance Valdamier Collens, who also serves as the Governor’s Authorized Representative in all Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) matters.
Governor Mapp discussed with the Vice President ways in which the Administration could facilitate a faster and stronger recovery in the territory. He raised the need to waive certain rules on the FEMA Sheltering and Temporary Emergency Power (STEP) program and allow FEMA to fund permanent roofing on approximately 4,000 storm damaged homes in the territory.
With significant damages to schools and other traditional hurricane shelters, as well as thousands of homes in need of repair, the Governor urged the Vice President to allow the use of FEMA funding to replace blue tarps and install permanent roofs to building code standards over the next few months. The permanent roof program is estimated to cost tens of thousands of dollars per home, with the total project cost estimated to exceed $250 million.
“Permanent roofs are clearly the best solution.” Governor Mapp said. “We simply do not have time to rebuild our public shelters. If the alternatives are using cruise ships and airplanes for mass evacuations every time a storm approaches or leaving Virgin Islanders exposed to extreme danger, constructing new roofs built to withstand the harsh winds and excessive rain is really the only solution.”
Early Monday, Governor Mapp sent a letter to President Trump requesting his support for expedited federal permitting review for the dredging of Charlotte Amalie Harbor on St. Thomas and Schooner Bay on St. Croix. The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson has already approved $23 million in CDBG-disaster recovery funds for the two dredging projects and approval of another $7 million is expected later this month.