Senators tack millions of dollars of spending on to borrowing bill
Published: November 1, 2012
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ST. THOMAS - The Senate Rules and Judiciary Committee approved Gov. John deJongh Jr.'s borrowing requests Wednesday for capital projects, energy initiatives and a new fleet for the V.I. Police Department - but not before amending one of the two bills and raising the total borrowing authorization to $117 million.
The two measures were sent to the Legislature in August by the governor along with a third borrowing bill - $10 million to pay for workers' compensation claims - that already has been approved and signed into law.
The two borrowing bills approved Wednesday were sent to committee during an Aug. 28 Senate session.
The first measure approved Wednesday authorizes the government to borrow $7 million for new Police vehicles and $20.5 million for eight major capital projects.
In the Senate Finance Committee last month, the bill was amended to add $3.3 million in additional capital project funding for a number of St. Croix projects.
Senators added $16.35 million for new capital projects to the bill on Wednesday.
In another amendment, senators included authorization for $35 million to design and build a new baseball stadium at Paul E. Joseph Stadium and an indoor multipurpose recreational center in Mars Hill, both on St. Croix.
The amended bill adds authorization to use the Community Facilities Trust account - set up to collect revenue from the Diageo rum distillery - for 24 territorial projects totalling $3.7 million.
The bill as amended will provide funding for these projects:
- $4.5 million to complete the Ivanna Eudora Kean track and field project.
- $2 million to complete renovations at Fort Christian.
- $2 million to complete the Turnbull Regional Public Library in Tutu.
- $1.5 million to rebuild the V.I. Public Works Department maintenance and garage facility on St. Thomas, which burned down in January 2011.
- $1.5 million to repair and upgrade the Charlotte Amalie High School track and field.
- $2.2 million to repair and upgrade the St. Croix Educational Complex track and field.
- $1.8 million to repair and upgrade the St. Croix Central High School track and field.
- $5 million to the V.I. Waste Management Authority for costs associated with closing the Anguilla Landfill.
- $2 million for roadwork and enhancements in downtown Frederiksted.
- $2 million for roadwork and enhancements in downtown Christiansted.
- $500,000 for St. Croix boardwalk enhancements.
- $2.85 million to connect the methane gas collection facility at Bovoni Landfill to the Water and Power Authority grid.
- $4 million for general improvements, deferred maintenance and equipment for Luis Hospital.
- $4 million for general improvements, deferred maintenance and equipment for Schneider Hospital.
- $1 million for completion of phase one of the Leonardo Trotman Drive project.
- $35 million for the Paul E. Joseph Stadium and an indoor multipurpose recreational center in Mars Hill.
- $2.5 million for a permanent building for the Crucian Christmas Festival Village.
- $600,000 for bathrooms in Mon Bijou Park.
- $40,000 to install bleachers at the Pedro Cruz Ball Park in Estate Profit.
- $150,000 to repair the Rudy Krigger Ball Park in Sion Farm.
The second measure authorizes borrowing $35 million for energy saving initiatives, such as new lighting, air conditioners, water-saving fixtures and solar panels for government-owned facilities that include the territory's schools and hospitals.
The project will save the government about $690,000 in net savings in the first year, after the debt service on the bonds, the labor and materials all have been paid for, according to testifiers at prior hearings. During a 15-year period, the project would save about $82 million, according to the government.
- Contact Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email email@example.com.