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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, November 30, 2023


Planning and Natural Resources could consolidate five locations by moving to the Cyril E. King Airport and save $460,000 a year in rent.
Dean Plaskett, acting DPNR commissioner, asked the Port Authority board this week to approve a lease of 16,000 square feet on the under-utilized second floor of the airport terminal, according to media reports. The board directed Executive Director Gordon Finch to negotiate the terms of the lease.
Plasket cited problems with private landlords, scattered offices, lack of parking and costs as the impetus for the request. Furthermore, Plaskett said rent money would go to the Port Authority, a government agency.
"Our department has 10 divisions," Friday's V.I. Independent quotes Plasket as saying. "By combining most or all of them in one location, we can offer our clients 'one-stop shopping' which will prevent them from having to go to three or four locations to complete their business, which is often currently the case."
Plaskett also noted that almost 90 percent of DPNR's funding comes from the federal government and therefore the department would have no problem paying the rent to the Port Authority.
DPNR now pays about $600,000 a year in rent, the Independent said. That would be cut to about $140,000 by moving to the airport.
Sidney Lee, a VIPA board member, said the purpose of the terminal is to support tourism and questioned how having DPNR there would do that, according to the Independent.
Plaskett said that empty space was not promoting tourism and that DPNR'S tenancy would produce revenue for the Port Authority.

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