Public Finance Authority meets


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ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Public Finance Authority met Friday, but did not talk about the $50 million borrowing package authorized by the Senate last week.

PFA Executive Director and V.I. Finance Commissioner Angel Dawson Jr. said after the meeting that the agency is in negotiations with a financial institution, and the matter of the borrowing bill will come before the board at the next meeting, which is scheduled for Aug. 13.

At Friday's meeting, the board elected the members of the King's Alley Management Inc. board, which is a subsidiary of the Public Finance Authority.

The three King's Alley board members are all Public Finance Authority board members as well: Dawson, Office of Management and Budget Director Debra Gottlieb and Keith O'Neale Jr.

The Public Finance Authority board on Friday also approved a contract extension to Boston-based Westland Strategies until April 5, 2015. It does not include additional funds, according to Office of Economic Opportunity Director Vicki Johnson.

The original contract for Westland Strategies, awarded in March 2013, gave the company $250,000 to help the Public Finance Authority tell the public how the government spent millions in federal stimulus money.

The Westland Strategies contract was for communications consulting, public relations and the development of a media plan for two of the Public Finance Authority's subsidiaries, the Office of Economic Opportunity and the V.I. Next Generation Network.

The Office of Economic Opportunity was formed to oversee the territory's federal grants awarded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The V.I. Next Generation Network was formed to build the territory's first open-access broadband network, funded by federal stimulus grants.

The original contract with Westland included professional services and the actual development and purchase of advertising.

Johnson said because some of the stimulus grants extend to 2015, the contract had to be extended to match.

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

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