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Nearly One-Quarter of Crown Bay Tenants in Arrears

Although the V.I. Port Authority board learned Wednesday that its revenues were up by 4.1 percent, that news was dampened with a report that eight out of some 35 tenants at Crown Bay Center are more than six months behind in their rent payments.
At its monthly meeting Wednesday, the board learned that the center is owed over $250,000 in back rent by a total of nine tenants.
Accordingly, the authority is preparing for legal action against four, following expiration of notices to quit the premises. Another five still have payments outstanding following receiving a notice to quit.
“These tenants don’t feel they have an obligation to pay without going after them,” board member Robert O’Connor remarked. “I don’t understand what is going on here. We’ve got to be more aggressive.”
Two tenants have paid up and are now current, following receiving the notices to quit according to Crown Bay Property Manage Diana Richardson.
Richardson said she wasn’t sure why so many of the tenants were in arrears.
“Some have indicated that business is slow,” Richardson said, noting others blamed the status of the economy.
-In other actions Wednesday, the board ratified a poll vote to hire Arc Surveying and Mapping, Inc., a marine surveyor to perform a Coast Guard-required survey between deep water and the container dock on St. Croix. The decision was made to sole-source the procurement rather than issuing a request for proposal since the surveyor was already in the territory performing other services for the Authority.
“The equipment came in on Friday, and the boat came in yesterday,” VIPA Executive Director Kenn Hobson said.
Hobson expected charting to be complete in less than two months.
-The board also approved a reduction in scope for a project at Enighed Pond on St. John to include just the building and not the pavement.
Advocating revising the bid in order to get it awarded, board member Gordon Finch explained that there were federal funds in the 2010 budget for that portion of the project. If the funds are not expended by end of the fiscal year, they could be lost.
-The board approved a $20,000 addendum for additional work at Molasses Pier required after the Department of Planning and Natural Resources asked for work that was not included in the Port Authority’s original Coastal Zone Management Application.
-The board also decided to limit overnight parking space permits to 27 at the Urman Victor Fredericks Marine Terminal in Red Hook. There are currently 107 spaces at that terminal. The $150 permits allow vehicles to be parked overnight, largely benefiting St. John commuters who take the ferry and then drive to their jobs on St. Thomas. Voicing concerns that the permits could allow spaces to be essentially “locked down” by one vehicle for weeks at a time, the board also directed staff to analyze the amount of revenue that could be generated from that parking facility without the permits.
Board members Yvonne E. L. Thraen and Hector Peguero did not attend Wednesday’s meeting.

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