News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Oct. 4, 2017: U.S. President Donald Trump did not venture to the U.S. territory of the USVI. Instead he met the island’s Governor Kenneth E. Mapp on a Navy vessel between Puerto Rico and Vieques.
The White House provided no other details of the meeting but Mapp had said in a statement Monday night that he along with Adjutant General Deborah Howell, Virgin Islands Police Department Commissioner Delroy Richards, Sr. and Mona Barnes, Director of the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA), will meet the U.S. President to discuss relief and recovery efforts following September’s back-to-back hurricanes.
Mapp at the time said a priority for the meeting was to hasten the roll-out of the Blue Roof program to “get folks out of the elements”. He said he would request a directive from Trump to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to open up the process to additional contractors.
“Trying to do the Blue Roof program with one main contractor and then that contractor sub-contracting the work, is going to be a dismal failure,” Governor Mapp was quoted as saying Monday evening. “It was a dismal failure during Hurricane Marilyn because what happens is that the main contractor creates a pricing structure for the sub-contractors that they will not accept, and the reality is we simply want to get people’s roofs covered,” he said.
Among the items on the agenda Mapp had said was seeking the Administration’s support for a special community disaster loan under the Stafford Act that must be enacted and funded by the U.S. Congress; funding for infrastructure repairs, including the islands’ hospitals and schools; mitigation to lay the Territory’s power lines underground; and assistance with fee schedules for hospitals and an increased federal share of Medicaid program costs.
It is unclear at press time if Mapp was able to raise all his issues and what the results were.