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Road conditions n STT-STJ vs STX

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Jumbie
(@ohiojumbie-2)
Trusted Member

We were in STT & STJ recently and the conditions of the roads we were on were absolutely great. Smooth asphalt paved roads with no potholes, etc. You would never know there was any damage from all the rains to any of the roads we travelled. Since we didn't go completely around STT perhaps there are some crappy roads that need re-paved/patched. However on STJ we were on the main highway all the way around the island.

So why are a lot of the STX roads in such bad shape with all sorts of sizes of potholes, and long stretches of torn up ashphalt?. One of my opinions is the governor lives on STT 😎 and STT & STJ don't want the cruise ship passengers to experience crappy roads during the van rides. That would create bad press for STT-STJ.

STX remains somewhat the ugly stepchild with it's horrendous road conditions. Some examples are: a pot hole still under water on the north shore road at Salt River marina area that should be blockaded on both sides to prevent wrecking your vehicle. The road from Le Reine fish/farmers market past Kingshill post office is horrible. Just past Tide Village going east toward Bucanneer the road is full of dangeously deep potholes. I could go on and on. .

I think there's only one paving company on STX but give me a break! I don't see any road repairs going on Guess some letters to our senators are in order.

Jumbie -STX

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Topic starter Posted : December 7, 2010 11:06 am
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

I've often thought that we should have signs printed up and distributed which feature pictures of the St Croix Senators that say "Fix This Pothole" ...and then stick them where needed.

Question: Why don't they pass a gasoline tax to fix the roads?
I'd gladly pay 10 cents a gallon to fix the roads. We'd get it back in fewer tire and car repairs.

Gas taxes are a fair tax, and right now, the only gas tax here goes to the Federal govt.

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Posted : December 7, 2010 11:10 am
Tippi
(@Tippi)
Trusted Member

STT pays more taxes on fuel than STX. Fuel cost at the pump is about $1.00 more per gallon in STT than on STX. Why should STT people pay more on fuel than STX?

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Posted : December 7, 2010 11:14 am
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

There is a 7 cent a gallon tax on gasoline that is supposed to go to the DPW to maintain the roads. It is & cents on STT and STJ as well? I think the DPW should get a hard look. What actually is it that they do the 9 months of the year that they actually work.?

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Posted : December 7, 2010 12:30 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Article in today's Avis says we are to receive disaster relief funds for fixing the roads. (Believe it when I see it!)

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Posted : December 7, 2010 12:35 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

STT and STJ pays more for gas because the gas is made on STX! That seems simple.

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Posted : December 7, 2010 1:04 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

STX pot hole crew is more efficent than the crews on STT and STJ.
The crew I'm talking about is the one that comes out at night and digs the pot holes.:P

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Posted : December 7, 2010 1:05 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

My understanding is that we do not pay any federal gas tax here, we used to but they got it dropped a few years ago going to court to get the .07 federal money dropped. The local government mirrored the federal tax rate so that is where the .07 comes from. It is supposed to pay for the roads.

.07 is very low though, in the DC area where I came from the tax rate was like .40. Take out the .07 federal part of that and it was still .07 or 4.5 times higher than here in the VI. You get what you pay for and if we could trust the goverment (yeah right) I'd say that doubling the gas tax to .14 and fixing the roads would probably be cheaper for your average driver than having to replace your tires/axles/automobiles as frequently due to lousy roads.

The gas tax is the same in STT as STX, the price difference is due to the fact that we have Hovensa on STX and part of the original Hess deal was that STX got fuel at wholesale prices.

These are all my understandings based on what I've been told over the years so correct me if I'm wrong.

Sean

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Posted : December 7, 2010 3:00 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

The roads on STX are super crappy partly because of the huge rain on November 10, which caused the worst flooding on STX in recent memory. That tore everything up. The seemingly permanent mega-puddle at Salt River is still being fed by runoff. It used to have smooth pavement under it, but after a few weeks of traffic, it's a submerged, invisible minefield of potholes.

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Posted : December 7, 2010 3:16 pm
jefgar
(@jefgar)
Advanced Member

We get gas on STX at wholesale prices; we have (roughly) 40 cents/gallon less tax than they have in the upper 48; then how come our gas is as expensive as at gas stations in the upper 48? Who's getting the extra money?

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Posted : December 7, 2010 3:20 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

We get gas on STX at wholesale prices; we have (roughly) 40 cents/gallon less tax than they have in the upper 48; then how come our gas is as expensive as at gas stations in the upper 48? Who's getting the extra money?

Good question!

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Posted : December 7, 2010 5:07 pm
Tippi
(@Tippi)
Trusted Member

We get gas on STX at wholesale prices; we have (roughly) 40 cents/gallon less tax than they have in the upper 48; then how come our gas is as expensive as at gas stations in the upper 48? Who's getting the extra money?

Gas prices on STT have always been higher than in the upper 48

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Posted : December 7, 2010 5:29 pm
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member

Good question!

With a simple answer - lack of competition and profit.

As I understand it, every station between Sunny Isle and F'sted is owned by one of 2 families. The prices at the pump go up and down at exactly the same time at all of those stations and they go up and down at exactly the same rate. In other words, price fixing. With no competition, each and every station takes the maximum profit allowed.

I remember seeing a newscast for the DC metro area that said the average mark up at the pump was 3 to 5 cents per gallon. A station owner here told me that the profit on gasoline averages about 25% of the sale price. If true, that means that when gas was at it's highest last year, the markup on a gallon of gasoline on St Croix was about 95 cents/gallon.

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Posted : December 7, 2010 5:38 pm
beachy
(@beachy)
Trusted Member

I can buy HESS gas in metropolitan New Jersey for less than I pay for the same gas on stx.....after they transport, add lots of taxes, etc..and this is not at a "cheap" gas station...and it's full service, their attendant pumps the gas for the customer etc.
In a conversation with one of the stx gas station owners, he justified his outrageous prices by the fact that he had to buy insurance to be able to pick gas up from Hovensa...like the gas stations in NY and NJ don't have liability insurance???

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Posted : December 7, 2010 6:38 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
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So the "Federal" tax info you see at most pumps is just old information they haven't changed? figures

I've heard it explained that Hess doesn't discount for the islands because they don't feel they should give a discount. They are part of a global supply chain that doesn't try to price gas based on proximity to the refineries. WHAT they base the varied prices on is anybody's guess.

It's amazing to me how BAD the roads are, and yet how LITTLE the politicians ever bring it up.

You could quite possible win a Senate seat here just by promising better roads. They affect everybody.

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Posted : December 7, 2010 7:03 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

As goofy as this may sound, I have started staying home more because I don't want to get bounced around so much. Sometimes it's downright painful!

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Posted : December 7, 2010 7:25 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

If it makes you feel any better, last week I paid $5.80 per gallon for avgas at the airport.

And you should see the condition of the runways and taxiways at our airport. There are actually warnings in the Airport Facilities Directory warning about STX airport. Poorly maintained runways, taxiways etc and wildlife on the runway.

http://www.aopa.org/airports/TISX

Another example of our dysfunctional government at work.

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Posted : December 7, 2010 8:58 pm
Bassman
(@bassman)
Advanced Member

I almost lost a Yaris in that hole in front of the Salt River Marina back on the 26th of last month. If you stay to the south side of the road you have a better chance of getting through unscathed. I did notice that by last Monday that many of the smaller pot holes around F'sted had been filled.
I don't know how the taxi/vans got the ship people up to Norma's last Sat.am. to see the pigs. Mahogany road is real bad at some river crossings.

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Posted : December 8, 2010 3:21 pm
Jumbie
(@ohiojumbie-2)
Trusted Member

I almost lost a Yaris in that hole in front of the Salt River Marina back on the 26th of last month. If you stay to the south side of the road you have a better chance of getting through unscathed. I did notice that by last Monday that many of the smaller pot holes around F'sted had been filled.
I don't know how the taxi/vans got the ship people up to Norma's last Sat.am. to see the pigs. Mahogany road is real bad at some river crossings.

Bassman, that is the hole @ Salt River I was referring to -- you must stay on south side (next to hill) if you want to avoid this "crater sized hole". It
just keeps getting worse on the north side of that big water puddle. Just an update: -the bad stretch of road close to the Bucanneer has been patched.

I totally agree with Neil's post about how BAD STX roads are, yet you never hear our elected Senators addressing this issue.

Jumbie -STX

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Topic starter Posted : December 9, 2010 11:01 am
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Just an update: -the bad stretch of road close to the Bucanneer has been patched.

I drove to work at 8:45 and its still bad, last nights rain seemed to have made it worse.

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Posted : December 9, 2010 2:07 pm
GoodToGo
(@GoodToGo)
Trusted Member

Hovensa sells gas at the rack at wholesale pricing by agreement with the local government - it isn't optional. What this means is Hovensa subsidizes the price of gas sold here in STX because it's sold at the price of the crude used to make the product and doesn't include the processing and labor costs to create an end product. Folks in STT-STJ are getting an additional markup or two for transport from STX by barge and then transport to either the station or a storage tank (not sure on the latter.) Basically gas is a lot more expensive there because there are more hands in your pocket.

I agree with the other person who said we could easily add some pennies in taxes to a gallon and fix our roads. We'd more than make it up in reduced costs for suspension/tire repairs (I just put new shock mounts, ball joint, tires, etc. on one car and have to replace tires and bits on another, a truck, that has less than 15,000 miles!)

So the "Federal" tax info you see at most pumps is just old information they haven't changed? figures

I've heard it explained that Hess doesn't discount for the islands because they don't feel they should give a discount. They are part of a global supply chain that doesn't try to price gas based on proximity to the refineries. WHAT they base the varied prices on is anybody's guess.

It's amazing to me how BAD the roads are, and yet how LITTLE the politicians ever bring it up.

You could quite possible win a Senate seat here just by promising better roads. They affect everybody.

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Posted : December 9, 2010 3:11 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

There is no way Hovensa is giving St Croix the "wholesale" price. If that were true, we'd be paying less than a lot of other places around the US, and we are not. What they DEFINE as "wholesale" may be a different story, but it's not any great discount.

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Posted : December 10, 2010 12:13 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

either that or the stations are making a killing!!!

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Posted : December 10, 2010 1:26 pm
GoodToGo
(@GoodToGo)
Trusted Member

Sorry but you're wrong. Hovensa's rack price is published monthly. All you have to do is take the average price for crudes per barrel, divide by 42, and compare and you will see Hovensa's rack price is wholesale. Local stations simply gouge the consumer compared to typicaly mainland markup. I don't know the number for 2009 but I know early last year Hovensa published an article in the paper showing the value of their 2008 subsidy was $35M which for a territory of about 100,000 people works out to about $350/head for a single year in direct gas subsidy. Again, as far as I know, this is negotiated with the local government and not optional.

There is no way Hovensa is giving St Croix the "wholesale" price. If that were true, we'd be paying less than a lot of other places around the US, and we are not. What they DEFINE as "wholesale" may be a different story, but it's not any great discount.

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Posted : December 10, 2010 5:50 pm
beachy
(@beachy)
Trusted Member

Sorry, but the gas station owners, expecially on STX, ARE making a killing. I've long wondered why so many in the VI just don't get it...

Here's an example...in September, the wholesale rack rate for New Jersey regular gas was $2.09, according to the US energy dept charts. According to the Source, the rack rate at Hovensa was $2.16, for gas picked up at the Hovensa facility, and this price INCLUDES the 7 cent tax paid to the VI govt, which Hovensa pays to the govt after charging it to the purchaser---so same $2.09 price. Hovensa sells the gas to Hess in New Jersey for $2.09, and they pay to transport it from STX..then it gets 'only" 33 cents in taxes added, because NJ is one of the lowest gas tax states...it eventually goes to a full service Hess NJ gas station, where their attendant puts the gas in my car tank for LESS than I paid per gallon to pump it myself the following week in STX at Gateway.

For many years the gas was always much cheaper on stx than in the states. At one point when the prices went up, the VI government cut the tax from .14 to the present .07 per gallon, supposedly to make gas more affordable, but the retail price did not drop accordingly, just like it doesn't drop as many cents as the rack goes down when Hovensa lowers the rack...the profit to the station just keep increasing penny by penny...and yet so many make Hovensa out to be the bad guy...

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Posted : December 10, 2010 9:48 pm
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