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Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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VIPA Board Looks Over Agency's Financial Position

According to numbers given to V.I. Port Authority governing board members Wednesday, the authority was running on a $7.1 million operating loss as of June 30.

While the loss was $1.6 million more than what was factored into the authority’s budget, it is $869,000 lower than last year. VIPA board members meeting on St. Thomas were told that the primary contributing factor was the authority’s aviation division, which accounted for $8.7 million in operating losses – $308,000 above budget.

Earlier in the meeting, board members discussed one of the authority’s ongoing outstanding accounts, with Seaborne Airlines, which entered into a payment agreement with VIPA months ago for outstanding rent. The board met in mid-July to approve a request from Seaborne to extend the last payment on the plan, which should have been taken care of by the end of July.

According to the new schedule, Seaborne would pay $200,000 by July 31; $130,488 on or by Aug. 31; and the remaining $130,488 on or by Sept. 30. All fees issued by the authority since January still have to be paid on time, however, according to a letter to the company from Port Authority Executive Director Carlton “Ital” Dowe.

On the other hand, the authority’s marine division realized a $1 million operating profit over the past nine months. According to the financials, this helped VIPA realize a $7.3 million operating profit as of June 30, which is 2 percent more than last year’s $7.1 million figure. The slight increase is mainly due to a 6 percent jump in revenues.

Net cash flow for the authority also adds up to $16.1 million, which board members said resulted from a strong “net income,” along with payments on outstanding government receiveables, as well as from decreases in insurance premium prepayments or advances. The $16.1 million then went into investments by VIPA into port facilities and equipment, totaling $13.7 million, along with $799,000 in “financial activity,” leaving a $1.6 million year-to-date increase in cash for the authority.

As of the end of June, VIPA realized $4.2 million in operating income (primarily from passenger facilities charges and other revenues) along with $5.7 million in federal contributions that VIPA staff said “played a significant role in reducing the operating loss.”

According to the numbers, VIPA’s net accounts receiveable totaled $6 million.

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