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PUBLIC NOTICE: Regarding the Initiation of the Section 106 Review Process for an Adverse Effect for the Patrick Sweeney Police Headquarters Building

February 21, 2020

The United States Department of Homeland Security-Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS-FEMA), in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (NHPA) (54 USC § 306108) and Title 36 CFR Part 800, considers public views on preservation issues and seeks public comment for proposed undertakings that may affect historic properties. If a proposed undertaking may have an adverse effect on historic resources, DHS-FEMA takes the appropriate response to avoid, minimize, and/or mitigate associated effects. This notice seeks public comment on this project to reflect any knowledge of, or concerns with, historic properties in the proposed project area. The comment period for the proposed undertaking, detailed below, will end 15 days from the date of this publication in the selected newspaper(s). This Notice will also be posted by the St. Croix Landmarks Society and the USVI Police Department (VIPD).

DHS-FEMA is proposing to provide Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding in accordance with Section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5172), as amended, to the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) to enhance the resiliency of VIPD facilities. VITEMA will act as the Recipient and VIPD will act as the Subrecipient. VIPD is proposing demolition and reconstruction of the Patrick Sweeney Police Headquarters building located in Estate Golden Grove, off Industrial Road and Melvin H. Evans Highway, St. Croix (Lat. 17.7120, Long. -64.7983) and which was shuttered in 2007 due to structural and health safety concerns.

The proposed actions include the demolition of this existing building, removal of the foundation and underground appurtenances, and the construction of a new building on the existing site. The new building will consolidate the VIPD satellite offices back into one facility to increase the readiness and response capacity of the VIPD, particularly during disaster and storm related events. To ensure resiliency during hazardous events, the proposed building will be constructed to meet local building codes, FEMA Publication 361, Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes, and ICC 500 requirements, where relevant. New construction plans will include an emergency operations center and an emergency personnel shelter to centralize emergency response initiatives of related divisions into the same building for greater efficiency, productivity, control, and security. The final design for the new building proposal will proceed after completion of the resolution of Adverse Effect documentation and obligation of FEMA funding.

The Virgin Islands State Historic Preservation Office (VISHPO), through a letter dated January 15, 2019, has stated their concurrence with the finding that the demolition of the Patrick Sweeney Police Headquarters building constitutes an Adverse Effect to Historic Properties. Written comments on the proposed adverse effects can be mailed to: FEMA-4335/4340 JFO, 4500 Sunny Isle Shopping Center, Unit 37 and 38, Christiansted, VI 00820 or emailed to FEMA directly at femar2comment@fema.dhs.gov . If no substantive comments are received, FEMA will move forward with the Section 106 Adverse Effects process.

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