Revenue from Magens Bay is supporting Smith Bay Park operations
Published: October 18, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - In its annual report to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday, Magens Bay Authority chairman Robert Moron said that revenues from Magens Bay are supporting the operations of Smith Bay Park.
The Magens Bay Authority is an independent government corporation that is self-supporting, funding its operations from entrance fees, rental fees and other revenue. The authority oversees and maintains Magens Bay Park, Drake's Seat and Smith Bay Park and is governed by a seven-member board.
In 2006, the Virgin Islands government purchased the area commonly known as Lindqvist Beach on the northeast shore of St. Thomas. Not long after, the beach was given to Magens Bay Authority to manage, and the area was named Smith Bay Park. A $1.5 million appropriation was passed for the authority to manage the beach, but only two small allotments were made and about $788,750 has never been released to the authority, Moron said.
The authority got $1.3 million in 2011 for capital improvements at Smith Bay Park, but it is only for capital projects, not general operations.
The authority spent $529,038 on the design and engineering of the next phase of infrastructure improvements at Smith Bay Park, which will include a new bathhouse, an additional access road, a parking lot, a gate house and two sheds, Moron said.
After the drawings have been completed, the new cost estimates for construction is $1.9 million, he said.
An additional $1.5 million was earmarked for the authority in a 2012 bond issue backed by rum revenues.
Moron said $234,000 has been given to operate Smith Bay Park from the Magens Bay operational account.
Moron said the FY 2014 operational budget of $231,826 is solely for the continued operation of Smith Bay Park.
"Without your due consideration or responding to MBA's request for additional financial assistance, the board of directors may deem it necessary to reprioritize certain public services at Smith Bay Park," Moron said.
- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email email@example.com.