VIPA Board Approves $7 Million Rescue, Fire Fighting Facility

V.I. Port Authority board members accepted a bid proposal to construct a new Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting facility on St. Croix. The bid was submitted by St. Thomas-based AT Construction Solutions and was reviewed by the board on Wednesday.

The new ARFF facility will replace an existing 30-year-old building. The current ATFF facility has numerous problems due to its age and floods during storm events, said VIPA Director of Engineering Dale Gregory.

“The new structure will be approximately twice as large as the current facility and will incorporate programmatic spaces deemed necessary for VIPA’s specific needs in accordance with the current FAA advisory circular for such facilities,” Gregory said in an outline of the project.

VIPA will contribute $1.2 million to the project out of its Aviation Operation budget; 17 percent of the total bid amount. The remaining amount will be covered by FAA grant funds.

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Delegate Stacey E. Plaskett announced in June 2015 that VIPA would receive $2.3 million in federal funding to construct the building.

The board also approved:
– a task order between the Virgin Islands Port Authority and American Infrastructure Development for the provision of construction administration services on the ARFF project on St. Croix. The board voted unanimously to approve the $407,886 proposal.
– hiring a firm to repair and restripe the asphalt pavement of the Crown Bay Center parking lot. Gregory said the project was publically bid and VIPA officials recommended, from the four contractors that responded, awarding the contract to Precise Builders in the amount of $116,519.
– replacing the Sandfill Administrative Building, which currently houses VIPA’s dock master office, V.I. Bureau of Internal Revenue office and offices for other dock operations. The board accepted the $310,937 proposal from Advanced Modular to fabricate and install the modular office building. The bid amount does not include a $15,000 shipping charge. Half of that cost will be covered in the next fiscal year, Gregory said.
– contracting engineering services for the design of paved parking lot at Enighed Pond. VIPA officials evaluated two firms and made a recommendation for The deJongh Group based on those evaluations. The deJongh Group’s cost proposal came in at a base price of $70,260. The deJong Group was “intimately familiar with project from geotechnical right up to the layout of the parking lot because they were the initial designers,” said Gregory. The new parking lot is estimated to generate $525,000 annually. The new construction provides an “excellent opportunity” for the Port Authority to generate new revenue, said Executive Director Carlton Dowe.
– a one-year lease renewal for Yosima Design, La Rosa Swimwear, Tina’s Treasures and Get Right Tees. All business operate kiosks in the Crown Bay Center facility and signed an earlier lease in 2007. The board also voted to increase the security deposit requirement for each business from $1,800 to $3,780 in keeping with the security deposit requirement of three month’s rent at current levels.
– a modified lease agreement with Centerline Car Rentals St. Croix, for a five-year option at the end of the concession and lease agreement. Centerline originally requested a 10-year option to the existing 25-year lease in order to secure 1.4 million in financing for capital improvements.
– and a 30-year lease for Standard Aviation in return for the construction of an aircraft hangar and maintenance facility within the first three years. The board also agreed to conduct fixed base operations and to sublease hangar and office spaces at an initial rental rate of $1.50 per square foot and fuel fee of $.02 per gallon.

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