Governor Bryan Ushers in Holiday Season, Provides St. Croix Water Updates

Governor Albert Bryan Jr speaks during the Government House Press Briefing on December 18, 2023.

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. wished Virgin Islanders a safe and happy holiday season Monday during the last weekly Government House briefing for 2023.

“I wish you all a very, very blessed Merry Christmas and certainly a New Year filled with health, wealth, abundance, prosperity and love, and a safe Crucian Christmas Festival,” Gov. Bryan said before introducing St. Croix District Chief of Police Sean Santos.

Speaking from Government House on St. Croix, Chief Santos said the focus during the 2024 Crucian Christmas Festival is on fun and safety. Chief Santos stressed that lawlessness will not be tolerated and noted that parking restrictions in and around Festival Village in Frederiksted will prohibit double parking or parking on sidewalks and also stated that fines and the towing of vehicles will be the likely effect of violators to posted traffic and parking rules.

The St. Croix Chief of Police also urged revelers to be vigilant against crime and encouraged revelers to “say something” to law enforcement officials “if they see something” in and around the festival village. A mobile police command station will be situated within the Village grounds as part of the VIPD’s efforts to ensure the safety of festivalgoers. 

Chief Santos also warned against the age-old practice of “celebratory” gunfire on New Year’s Eve, encouraging party hosts to take a zero-tolerance stand and to cooperate with the Virgin Islands Police Department to report violators. Chief Santos further expounded on the VIPD’s efforts to pursue violators of the law who partake in the dangerous practice of “celebratory” gunfire on New Year’s Eve, underscoring the VIPD’s intent to pursue violators by adding, “Even if the perpetrators are not caught in the act, bullet casings can be found and traced, leading to arrests.”

Lead and Copper Response 

Gov. Bryan announced that a final round of surveillance testing has begun on the water distribution system on St. Croix. The Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) and the VI Water and Power Authority (WAPA) have already started testing samples from additional sites. To help with that effort, WAPA and DPNR are looking for volunteers to allow samples to be taken from the taps in their homes if they meet the Water and Power Authority requirements. Gov. Bryan urged volunteers to reach out to WAPA. If the results confirm the most recent EPA testing results and demonstrate that the levels of lead and copper are either non-detectable or below the EPA’s action level, the State of Emergency on St. Croix will not be extended.

The Governor noted that WAPA has already begun the process to issue bill credits to its water customers in the impacted areas to help offset costs potentially incurred as a result of the advised to flush their lines to clear lead at the tap.

Meeting with 35th Legislature 

At a meeting this past weekend, Gov. Bryan met with members of the 35th Legislature to discuss the Territory’s priorities and the challenges faced in finding collaborative solutions.

“This is the first off-season we’ve had since COVID,” Gov. Bryan said. “Returning to normal times, our cash flow has been a little slower.”

This is partly due to the administration’s steadfast commitment to addressing longstanding financial obligations that have yet to be addressed, Gov. Bryan said, including the payment of retroactive wages, income tax refunds, and reinstating the 8 percent salary reduction to government employees.  

“We didn’t collect as much as we expected in the last couple of months, so we’re slow on vendor payments,” Gov. Bryan said, adding that he’s optimistic. “Together, we’ll work tirelessly to ensure that the Territory remains fiscally responsible as well as fiscally prosperous.”


Eight exceptional students from the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program in the Virgin Islands recently attended the National Student Leadership Academy (NSLA) in Washington, D.C.

Teacher of the Year for St. Thomas-St. John District 

Governor Bryan congratulated Chevell Simeon, an exceptional English Literature and Composition teacher at Charlotte Amalie High School, for being named Teacher of the Year for the St. Thomas-St. John District. 

The Bryan-Roach Administration is investing in the Territory’s people, infrastructure and future through transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit