Port Authority anticipates stronger revenues
Published: September 5, 2012
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ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Port Authority board approved a $74.2 million Fiscal Year 2013 budget Tuesday.
The FY 2013 budget is about $9.6 million more than last year's budget. The V.I. Port Authority is a semi-autonomous agency that receives no General Fund money, and its budget depends on the revenue it generates as well as grant funding for major capital projects.
The budget anticipates overall revenue of $74.2 million, with operating expenses of $41.8 million; debt service of $3.6 million; and capital projects of $28.7 million.
The increase in revenue is from new federal grants, increased aviation and marine activity, and about $3.5 million in capital reserves carried over into the next fiscal year from projects not completed in FY 2012.
In the aviation division, $8.5 million in federal grants have been awarded for FY 2013, up from the $4.5 million received in FY 2012. The grants will fund the rehabilitation of Taxiway A and the general aviation ramp at King Airport, among other projects.
The Passenger Facility Charge, a fee assessed to airlines for each passenger on a plane, is rising from $3 to $4.50 at King Airport, and a $3 charge will be continued at Rohlsen. The fees are used for capital improvements at the airports, which must be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. In FY 2013, the port authority expects to collect $3.35 million from the per-passenger fee. The proceeds will be used for a $4 million project to repair the leaking roof of King Airport.
The marine division expects to get $1.4 million from various federal and local sources in FY 2013 to complete a number of small capital projects, including $844,677 to prepare all marine facilities for Transportation Workers Identification Credential monitoring by upgrading electronic security equipment at the entry gates to all marine facilities.
On Tuesday, the board amended the proposed budget to include two new positions. The first is a Human Resources assistant at an annual salary of $39,200. The second new position will be a chief financial officer, but that salary has not yet been determined.
Board chairman Robert O'Connor Jr. said it has been many years since the Port Authority has had a CFO, and the board believes it is time to hire someone to fill the role.
In other business, the board:
- Approved a three-year lease at $6,528 a year for Global X Group to rent space at King Airport for helicopter tours and charters.
- Approved a payment plan for Bob Lynch Trucking to pay past due rent and finance charges totalling $9,137.59.
- Extended and increased the contract of Jones Lang LaSalle to assist with the review, evaluation and negotiation of proposals for the Lindbergh Bay hotel development and operation. The existing contract had a cap of $10,000. The board voted to increase the contract cap to $20,000.
- Approved a lease for L.S. Holdings, doing business as Jewels, Little Switzerland for 917 square feet of space in the Monsanto Marine Terminal in Crown Bay. The five-year lease will be at a rate of $55 per square foot base rent with annual increases.
- Approved hiring a parking lot attendant; three firefighters; a law enforcement officer; two temporary barge ramp attendants, for no more than 90 days; a temporary administrative assistant, for one month; and changed the job title of an existing employee.
- Approved giving staff the authority to fill vacancies if they are budgeted positions and the hiring is in keeping with the board's personnel regulations.
V.I. Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls resigned his position as vice-chairman of the board - although he still will be a board member - and V.I. Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty was selected as the new vice-chairwoman.
- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email email@example.com.