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HomeNewsArchivesMagens Bay Chairman: Senator Dealing in 'Fairy Tales' About Lindqvist

Magens Bay Chairman: Senator Dealing in 'Fairy Tales' About Lindqvist

April 21, 2008 — Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone is dealing in "fairy tales" by making a request for vendors at Lindqvist Beach, the chairman of the Magens Bay Authority board charged Monday.
"We don't even have a bathroom," Aubrey Nelthropp said.
The chairman's comment was provoked by a letter from Malone dated Thursday, detailing the advantages of leasing concession spaces. Malone claimed his office had been "inundated with calls from local business owners inquiring about vending space at Lindqvist Beach."
Nelthropp insists the authority is the place for potential vendors to direct inquiries. It has also received vendor calls and will deal with them at the appropriate time, he said.
The V.I. government purchased the popular 21.5-acre property in 2006 for $8.9 million. In December 2007, Gov. John deJongh Jr. signed legislation authorizing the Magens Bay Authority to manage the property.
"We have a six-phase plan which has been in place from a year and a half ago, and we are barely in phase one now," Nelthropp said. "The concession stand is the last entity going on the beach."
The authority hired engineer James Bernier as manager in Feburary.
"We also have two security officers, one lifeguard and one maintenance man," Nelthropp said. "We are going to have a beautiful bathhouse — a copy of bathhouse No. 3 at Magens — and a gatehouse."
Right now, Nelthropp said, the beach has a portable toilet that was donated. The staff operates out of a 40-foot trailer.
"We have cleaned and upgraded both roads," Nelthropp said. "We have parking for 40 vehicles. We just finished poling the beach last week to protect it from cars, like we have at Magens. We have six benches under the sea grape trees, and we have installed the proper signs — 'No dogs on the beach' and '$2 per person entrance fee.'"
Completed or not, the popular beach draws a crowd. Last Saturday the beach had 148 cars, Nelthropp said.
The authority has been self-sufficient for nearly a decade and has continued to manage and maintain Magens Bay without receiving a subsidy from the local government. However, Nelthropp said, improvements at Lindqvist have so far been taken out of a special fund the board set aside from Magens, but that is a stop-gap measure.
Senators passed a bill appropriating $1.5 million as seed money for the beach's operations, but the bill did not make it past deJongh. At the time, he said the government did not have enough money to cover the appropriation.
The governor promised to split the cost of the project over the next two fiscal years, breaking up the money into $750,000 increments, Nelthropp said Monday.
"We haven't received any of that money as yet," he said.
The authority will hold out for enough money to do the job right, Nelthropp said.
"We'll do nothing until we are ready," he said. "We don't want anything slipshod, anything temporary. We will not compromise. Once the bathhouse is built and functioning, we'll start to worry about other things. The bathhouse and septic system will probably cost about $400,000."
Another sore spot with Nelthropp is the name of the beach: "It's not Lindqvist — there is no such beach as Lindqvist. It is Smith Bay Park, parcel 14-A on every survey of Great Smith Bay."
Calls to Malone were not answered Monday. The Senate is in full session Monday and Tuesday.
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