After learning that income and expenses are in line with previous financial statements, the governing board of the V.I. Port Authority approved several contracts for St. Thomas’s Crown Bay Marina and both airports and deferred action against a sluggish contractor at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix.
VIPA Chief Financial Officer Donna Frett-Gregory presented the financial picture and reported assets of more than $60 million, not including $300 million for facilities and equipment and liabilities, including outstanding revenue bonds, total almost $54 million.
Operating income for October was $3.2 million, slightly above last year and expenses of $4 million were almost $1 million less than the same period last year.
Anna Penn, accounting manager for Crown Bay Center, reported most of the 45 tenants are up to date with rent payments or within 30 days of being current. In November, nine renters owed a little less than $500,000, she said.
The board was asked to act on several items including a bond resolution to cover a cost overrun at the Crown Bay Harbor dredging project on St. Thomas. According to VIPA Executive Director Carlton Dowe, additional work will be required to remove concrete and debris discovered under the surface.
The board agreed with Roberto Cintron, chairman, that the dredging is a priority and approved the measure. The project is almost complete but the additional work will delay competition by 30 days or so.
Also dealing with Crown Bay, the board was asked to approve a contract to study the feasibility of adding another berth. Dale Gregory, VIPA director of engineering, said seven bids had been received and, after review, he recommended Moffet and Nichols to receive the $55,000 contract. The West Indies Co. Ltd. will pay half the cost, he said. The board approved the contract.
The board also approved a contract for $744,000, included in the VIPA budget, to replace the public address system at the Cyril E. King Airport. Two bids had been considered, Gregory said.
The Rohlsen Airport also received funding approval. Two contracts for almost $400,000 were approved for predesign and design services. American Infrastructures Development Inc. was selected as the consultant to begin work rehabilitating the runway.
Gregory described the project as “critical” because the runway surface “is failing” and could eventually prevent aircraft usage.
Current work at Rohlsen to repair the terminal apron is “moving slowly,” Gregory reported. The board discussed whether or not to solicit help from the bonding company, because the builder has filed bankruptcy and has not met deadlines.
Cintron pointed out it would take six months to get action from the bonding company and suggested trying to work with the contractor until the next board meeting.
Dealing with a delinquent payer of several years, the board voted to accept a $35,000 settlement from Patrick Charles Enterprises Inc. instead of attempting to recoup the full amount owed – more than $60,000.
Dowe pointed out that although there may be a judgment against a delinquent account, “sometimes you don’t get a cent.”
One board member, Yvonne Thrane, voted against the measure because she said the settlement amount was not sufficient.
In other actions, the board approved leases for Crown Bay Center merchants including Oasis Jewelers, Millennium Racing Inc. and Costa Java, Klassique Jewelers and St. Thomas Hot Spot with rate increases for most of them. American Airlines and Concessions International were leased additional space for their operations.
Board members attending the meeting were Cintron, Thrane, Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Jose Penn and Laurel Hewitt-Sewer.