The Public Finance Authority approved a resolution Tuesday authorizing the issuance of $157.5 million in bonds to play catch up on utility bills, income tax returns and Workers Compensation outstanding liabilities, as well as to complete already approved capital projects.
Of the $157.5 million, $120 million is for working capital to cover 2012 budget shortfalls and to shore up the 2013 budget. Another $20.5 will be allocated for unfinished capital projects as follows:
- $4.5 million for phase II & III of the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School track on St. Thomas;
- $2 million for repairs to Fort Christian;
- $2 million to the Tutu Park library project;
- $1.5 million for the Charlotte Amalie High School track on St. Thomas;
- $1.5 million for reconstruction of the Public Works garage in Sub Base, St. Thomas;
- $2.2 million to complete the Education Complex track on St. Croix;
- and $1.8 million to complete the Central High School track on St. Croix.
“These projects are all worthwhile,” said Angel Dawson, PFA executive director, after Tuesday’s regular board meeting at the authority’s building on Government Hill.
Of the $157.5 million bond issuance, $120 million has already been approved by the Legislature. The administration will go to the Senate next week to ask for the additional $37.5 million, $10 million of which is earmarked for the outstanding Workers Compensation liabilities for claims and provider services.
The only other matter covered Tuesday was the reallocation of $50,000 to augment Federal Emergency Management Agency funds and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to reconstruct the Christiansted Boardwalk. The $50,000 was taken from the Toro Building funds – a $3.2 million project that never got off the ground due to insufficient funding. Most of the Toro funds have already been “re-purposed,” Dawson said.
All measures were approved unanimously by attending board members: Gov. John P. deJongh Jr., Debra Gottlieb, Pablo O’Neill and Keith O’Neale Jr.