Dec. 27, 2002 — The Public Finance Authority board on Friday approved capital improvement loans of $2 million to the V.I. Justice Department and $500,000 to the Police Department.
Attorney General Iver Stridiron requested the $2 million to finish construction of the Sub Base jail annex. Work on the annex began in 1997, Stridiron noted, but hasn't been finished since the contractor was discharged from the job.
"We want to complete it so that we can continue to generate revenue from that annex," Stridiron said.
Currently, Justice receives $46 per day for each inmate it houses, he said, but with the annex completed, it would be able to receive $66 per day.
The loan is to be repaid over 10 years at 4.25 percent interest.
The PFA also approved a $500,000 capital improvement loan to the Police Department for repair of its communication system.
"I do not believe that the full $500,000 will be needed, but we will get very close to that," Kenneth Mapp, PFA director of finance and administration, said.
The Finance Authority approved a contract with Communication Technologies, a Virginia firm with a local license, to assess the Police Department's information technology needs. Mapp said the contract would cost no more than $350,000.
He said the communication system needs a lot of work. "Police officers within 10 feet of each other couldn't communicate on their radios," he told the board.
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull, who chairs the PFA board, said the police situation is serious, and "we should do whatever we can to help."
In other action, the board voted to become a signatory for a loan that Juan Luis Hospital officials are seeking from Banco Popular, provided that the hospital be responsible for repayment of the money borrowed.
The hospital applied for a $2 million revolving line of credit from the bank, but Banco Popular officials said they wanted PFA approval.
"We're here because the bank's attorney has advised us that we don't have borrowing authority of our own," Nellon Bowry, the hospital's chief financial officer, said. Bowry was director of the Office of Management and Budget in the last administration.
PFA legal counsel James Hindels said the authority is responsible for issuing revenue bonds for the hospitals.
The Public Finance Authority was created in 1988 in the administration of Gov. Alexander A. Farrelly to help the government issue bonds to borrow money for capital projects and to help manage those projects.

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