Home News Local news PFA Authorizes $14 Million to Buy Police Cars, Fight Landfill Fire

PFA Authorizes $14 Million to Buy Police Cars, Fight Landfill Fire

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April 4, 2008 — The Public Finance Authority approved up to $14 million in bond funds Friday for police cars and putting out a fire at Anguilla landfill in Christiansted.
Police Commissioner James McCall requested $8.4 million for the purchase of 200 vehicles to replace a similar number that will soon be out of compliance with the police department's collective-bargaining agreement. Vehicles must be less than 3 years old or have less than 80,000 miles on them, according to the agreement. This time frame is "pretty standard" in stateside jurisdictions as well, McCall said.
PFA member Debra Gottlieb, who is also the director of the Office of Management and Budget, asked McCall how many vehicles the department actually needs currently.
"We would project at least 260," McCall said. "However, we would be able to live with 200. … This number would be a minimum to meet our responsibilities."
Claudette J. Watson-Anderson asked about the status of the previous 200 vehicles the department purchased.
"The acquisition of 200 vehicles occurred in 2005," McCall said. Those will be out of compliance soon after the new vehicles arrive, he said.
The PFA approved by unanimous consent "up to $10 million" for the purchase of the cars and up to $160,000 to add to existing police department funds for a deposit on the purchase. The funds were authorized from the balance of the 2004 Matching Fund Loan Note Series 2004A, which is secured with rum excise-tax revenues.
Waste Management Director May Adams Cornwall requested $3.9 million to hire Williams Fire and Hazard Control, a Texas-based industrial firefighting company, to extinguish a subterranean fire at Anguilla Landfill. Underground fires have plagued the landfill for a number of years.
"We expect them to complete the job within 60 days," Cornwall said. "They usually go in and out, and we expect better than 60 days, but that time frame is as a precaution."
The PFA authorized $4 million, to come partly from the aforementioned 2004 Matching Fund Loan and the remainder from the V.I. Gross Receipts Taxes Loan Note Series 2003A.
The sum of $187,000 was approved as matching funds for ongoing construction of the Bromley Berkeley American Legion Post 133 in Frederiksted and $116,000 to the University of the Virgin Islands for a community survey.
Detailed information on the PFA's bonds can be found at vipfa.org.
West Indian Company President Edward Thomas reported to the PFA on its operations.
"For the calendar year ending 12/31/2007," he said, "1,917,371 passengers arrived in St. Thomas. That's the most ever."
Passenger numbers have been flat in recent months, but there has not been a dramatic decline.
"We are cautiously optimistic about continued consumer spending despite the deepening (national) economic woes," he sad. "And we suggest the absolute number increase in passengers could offset any decline in per-passenger spending."
PFA members present were Gov. John deJongh Jr., Claudette Watson-Anderson and Debra Gottlieb.
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