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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesPort Authority Rescinds Line Services Contract

Port Authority Rescinds Line Services Contract

VIPA's Robert O'Connor and Don Mills at Thursday's meeting.The V.I. Port Authority Governing Board voted to rescind a contract with Morgan Maritime Services for line services at the Austin "Babe" Monsanto Marine Terminal on Thursday after legal counsel determined the contract was awarded based on inaccurate information that Morgan Maritime was the only provider.

While no one at the board meeting said the company was responsible for the inaccurate information, the board determined the contract was inappropriate and should be rescinded in favor of a more general user fee, affecting all line services providers.

"Board members were given misinformation relative to the fact that no other line handling company was available," said board member Gordon Finch. "We have found out this is not the case."

In a memo explaining the staff’s rationale, Don Mills, acting director of VIPA, said that when the board’s approval of this contract was published, "we immediately receive calls from other line handling companies complaining about the award of this contract."

Voting to rescind the contract were Gordon Finch, Robert O’Connor Jr., Yvonne Thraen, Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls and Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty. Labor Commissioner Albert Bryan abstained.

When it came to a Cardow Inc. request to expand its space in the King Airport pre-clearance lounge, move some seats around and add a "column" kiosk to sell more wares, VIPA staff recommended disapproval, saying the lounge already has a already a shortage of space.

The board rejected the staff recommendation, but did not approve Cardow’s expansion right away either. Instead, it unanimously voted to send the request back to the board’s finance committee and request that VIPA engineering staff provide any reports or studies of the use of space in the terminal. If none have been done, VIPA staff is to do a narrow study of space needs in just the pre-clearance area within 90 days.

In other actions, the board approved several lease extensions, renewals and modifications, including:

– renewing Westin St. John Hotel Company’s lease of hospitality space in the airport; modifying a lease with Worldwide Flight Services to rent extra office space;

– renewing Calypso Catamaran Charter’s lease for a tourist information and concierge service booth;

– reassigning the 50-year Texaco Antilles lease to its successor company, Chevron Puerto Rico, and renewing a 10 year lease;

– and approving a contract with Jones Lang Lasalle real estate company to help VIPA review proposals to develop and operate the Island Beachcomber Hotel at Lindbergh Bay, St. Thomas.

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