DeJongh requested PFA funding to hire the New York-based firm of Duff and Phelps for "analysis of proposals submitted by Hovensa with respect to its use as a storage facility, to help determine what alternatives there are and what is best for the community."
The plan is to look at the range of potential alternatives, to help the government prepare for negotiations with Hovensa over its concession agreement with the territory, deJongh said.
Duff and Phelps gave the most comprehensive proposal, deJongh said.
"They were also involved in the analysis of the Sunoco refineries that closed," deJongh said. "If you recall, at the time Hovensa closed, some refineries in Pennsylvania closed around the same time and they were involved in the analysis," deJongh said.
The PFA Board of Directors voted to authorize DeJongh to spend up to $500,000 from its own administrative fund to hire Duff and Phelps.
The board also approved temporarily reallocating $750,000 from another capital project that is still in the design phase to allow Public Works to purchase and install the new rubberized membrane surface for the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School track.
Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls said the track has been graded and prepared and the track material is ready to be shipped, but all the money available from bonding and from legislative appropriations has been expended.
Finance Commissioner Angel Dawson said work on the Charlotte Amalie High School gym, library and cafeteria was still in the design phase, and had a $1.6 million balance from bonds issued in 2003. The board approved reallocating $750,000 from the 2003 bonds to surface the track.
"With the upcoming bond issuance, we will be looking at supplementing or replacing the funding for this (Charlotte Amalie High School) project, which is still very much alive," Dawson said, referring to a planned capital projects bond that the government is preparing to request authorization for from the Legislature.
Asked when the track surface would be completed, Smalls said, "We won't be ready by the first day of school, but before the first semester is finished we will have completed this phase." Bleachers and other infrastructure will be constructed in the next phase, he said.
The board also authorized moving $150,000 left over from road and sign work completed at Point Udall, to install cameras and other security equipment and complete renovations of Public Works' complex on St. Croix.
The board voted to treat $31 million the PFA borrowed and forwarded to the V.I. Next Generation Network as local matching funds for larger federal grants as a loan that may be converted to equity at the discretion of the PFA. Dawson said viNGN needed some finality and certainty on how the funds would be treated, for its own bookkeeping purposes. The viNGN, which is building a fiber-optic broadband network and several related projects, is owned by the PFA.
All votes were unanimous. Present were: deJongh, Dawson, Management and Budget Director Debra Gottlieb and Keith O'Neale Jr. Absent were Roy Jackson and Pablo O'Neill.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story erroneously reported how the funds shifted for the Kean track would be repaid. The Source regrets the error.