A Message form Senator Sammual Sanes:

On Wednesday of this week, I cast my vote in favor of the Limetree Bay oil refining agreement on St. Croix.

This current agreement was only a first step toward an opportunity for economic development and to produce over 1,500 jobs for the initial construction phase – and then 800 permanent jobs once the refinery is re-started.

It will not operate at the previous levels of employment on St. Croix that we once saw at HOVENSA, and as I stated earlier, it is only an initial first step toward economic development, not just for St. Croix but for our whole Territory. The oil refinery agreement may be a larger scale project, but as my running mate, Democratic Candidate for Governor Allison “Allie” Petrus, has previously pointed out, we must turn our focus to re-developing our local economy and the Petrus/Sanes team is the right team to get that done. The ripple effect has the potential to help our other small businesses such as restaurants, building suppliers, home goods stores, taxis, and property rentals, just to name a few.

We are also fully aware that this current Governor and his Administration have shown time and time again, that he has made one promise after another that have been greatly exaggerated, and in many cases not even kept.But this vote was not about politics, this vote was about developing economic opportunity for our people.

Together with Allie, the Petrus/Sanes team is the right team that will focus not just on the oil refinery opportunity, but how we will realistically utilize this opportunity to create economic revitalization opportunities and development throughout our local economy so that we create more opportunity for all of our people.

With more people working and small business growing, tax revenues will be generated, and the Petrus-Sanes Team will ensure that we use those funds to help fortify our infrastructure and continue providing vital services to our people.

We will focus those monies on building state-of-the-art hospitals for our citizens’ health care, and modernized schools for our children – NOT on giving away $10 million loans to companies that could not get financing in the private sector to build a hotel that also takes away premium property from our GERS System. The same GERS System that Governor Mapp was already caught not paying into and ordered by a Judge to return all the monies that were due to our Retirees.

Our environment is also of great importance to Allie and me, so as your next Governor and Lieutenant Governor, we will hold the representatives of Limetree and its affiliates “feet to the fire” to ensure that all environmental concerns are met not just by them, but also by our partners at the federal government, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and our local governmental agencies, such as DPNR.

I believe that the Petrus-Sanes Team can effectively accomplish the job of making this agreement what it should be – an opportunity for ALL Virgin Islanders, not just a few insiders. It’s a part of our commitment to giving you back a government that works for YOU!