THE VIRGIN ISLANDS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS DIVISION OF PERSONNEL SHARE FY 2022 BUDGET

Published: Jun 29, 2021

ST. THOMAS- Members of the Committee on Finance chaired by Senator Kurt A. Vialet, convened in a meeting at the Capitol Building on Tuesday, and received testimony on the proposed Fiscal Year 2022 Executive Budget for the Government of the Virgin Islands of the United States (GVI). Invited testifiers are the officials from the Virgin Islands Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Virgin Islands Division of Personnel (DOP).

The proposed FY 2022 budget for the Virgin Islands Department of Public Works totals $26,497,194, according to DPW Commissioner Derek Gabriel. The FY 2022 budget breakdown is as follows: $9,479,165 for personnel services, $4,889.29 for fringe benefits, $651,500 for supplies, $10,477,500 for other services and charges, $500,000 for capital outlay, and $500,000 for utilities. Furthermore, Gabriel indicated that the anticipated Federal Funds totals $29,101,515. The breakdown is as follows: $7,575,500 for FHWA Garvee Debt Service Payment, $7,833,728 for FHWA projects, $2,744,072 for FTA Urbanized Area Formula Grant FY 2021, $2,749,898 for FTA Urbanized Area Formula Grant FY 2020, $5,164,000 for the FTA Resiliency Grant, $697,889 for the FTA ER Grant Part 2, $232,642 for the FTA CARES ACT Part 2, and $2,103,786 for the FTA American Rescue Plan. Gabriel noted that to date, DPW achieved the completion of both federal and local road projects inclusive of Sion Valley Road, the Mafolie Retaining Wall Project, Eastern Cemetery Road, Mannessah Hill Road, Sunny Isle Intersection, and Scenic Road.

To date, there are a total of 120 active projects Territory-wide totaling $461 million. This includes projects scheduled to begin soon. Some of the major projects slated to begin are repairing buildings, public cemeteries, bridges, parking lots, and the stormwater drainage system, according to Gabriel. Moreover, DPW implemented cost-saving measures such as the LED light installation throughout the building, providing Wi-Fi accessibility, and upgrading the voice-over IP phones. The deadline for completion is December 2021. Gabriel further mentioned that some of the highlights for FY 2021 were filling 20 full-time vacancies, promoting ten employees, and offering ongoing training to staffers.

Separately, DOP Director Dayna Clendinen stated that the recommended FY 2022 budget totals $44.9 million. This is in addition to anticipated revenues of an estimated $23,000 for the Training Revolving Fund and $530,867 from the Indirect Cost Fund. The FY 2022 budget breakdown is as follows: $3,222,487 for personnel services, $1,580,861 for fringe benefits, $110,000 for supplies, $190,500 for public utilities, $40,000 for miscellaneous, and $39,865,719 for other services and charges. Defending the budget, Clendinen noted that the budget outlines future needs, plans for goals and initiatives, and builds a resilient government. Presently, some of the accomplishments of DOP are the execution of the final NOPAs in 30 days with an ongoing effort to reduce the time to two weeks, collaborating with the Bureau of Information Technology to launch virtual Microsoft 365 training courses, and updating the General Schedule Pay Plan for GVI. Clendinen added that DOP also became a member of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources which enables networking with goal-oriented professionals.

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