Port Authority awaits federal permits before moving forward with Crown Bay dredging


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ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Port Authority is waiting for the last federal permits to be approved before securing financing for the Crown Bay dredging project.

Director of Engineering Dale Gregory told the Port Authority board Wednesday that the final price tag of the project will hinge on the Army Corps of Engineers permit. If special conditions are placed on the permit, or extra monitoring is required, the cost could rise and change the amount needed to finance the project.

For now, the Port Authority is anticipating a cost of about $5 million to $7 million, according to Gregory.

He said the project will dredge the sea floor to 10 meters and fix some spots within the Gregorie East channel that will allow cruise ships to better navigate the channel.

About 16,000 cubic meters of dredge material will be removed from the area, according to Gregory.

The cruise lines want the dredging done by end of November, and the dredging itself will take about two months, Gregory said.

Once the federal permit has been granted - the local permits already have been secured - the Port Authority will determine the final price and obtain financing.

Contracts for the project's management were awarded to CDR Maguire, Inc. in April, but the actual dredge work will be put out to bid once the funding is lined up, Gregory said.

The port will remain open and operational during the dredging, he said.

In other business, the board approved:

- A lease to Bob Lynch Trucking for additional cargo space at King Airport. The addition of a third cargo bay will bring the annual rent to $69,684, for a five-year lease term.

- A lease extension for Cardow, Inc. to adapt three columns in the King Airport departure lounge for charging stations. Cardow already holds a lease to sell jewelry at the airport. The lease will be extended for two years with a five-year option for an annual rent of $17,527 or 9 percent of sales, whichever is higher.

- A lease renewal for Margaret Anthony, a food vendor at Fredericks Marine Terminal in Red Hook. The three-year lease has a three-year option to renew and an annual rent of $9,574.68.

- A three-year lease for Interisland Boat Services for counter space at Fredericks Marine Terminal. The lease has a three-year option to renew and an annual rent of $3,802.50.

- A relocation agreement with Concessions International of the USVI, which has an agreement with the Port Authority to provide exclusive food and beverage service at King Airport. The tenant must relocate from the baggage claim area while it is renovated. The board approved an agreement that will extend the lease agreement for five years and give the company a non-exclusive right to serve food and beverages.

- A $25,215 contract to CDR Maguire for an assessment of the Kings Wharf seawall, next to the National Park Service property in Christiansted.

- An amendment to an engineering services contract for Ricondo & Associates to pay them $426,103 to design a replacement for the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting building at Rohlsen Airport.

- A $39,561 task order for Ricondo & Associates to assist in the permitting phase for security improvements at Rohlsen Airport.

- The creation of a new job, special assistant to the chief law enforcement officer and K-9 security coordinator. The position will start with a $50,000 salary, which will increase to $55,000 after a one-year probationary period and the completion of police academy training.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email alewin@dailynews.vi.

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