Dec. 27, 2002 The Public Finance Authority, during a board meeting Friday, approved a $2 million capital improvement loan to the V.I. Department of Justice.
Attorney General Iver Stridiron requested the monies for construction of a jail annex in the Sub Base area. The annex has been under construction since 1997, Stridiron noted, but it was left unfinished when 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 diem for each inmate it houses. Stridiron said that with the annex completed Justice would be able to receive $66 per diem.
The department's repayment plan for the loan will span over a 10-year period with 4.25 percent interest.
The PFA also approved a $500,000 capital improvement loan to the V.I. Police Department for repairs to its communication systems.
"I do not believe that the full $500,000 will be needed, but we will get very close to that number," 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 do an assessment of the Police Department's information technology needs. Mapp said the contract would cost no more than $350,000.
He said the department's communication system needed a lot of improvements. "Police officers within 10 feet of each other couldn't communicate on their radios," Mapp told PFA members.
Gov. Charles Turnbull, who serves as chairman of the PFA, said the police situation was a major deal. "We should do whatever we can to help," Turnbull said.
Other matters discussed included the authority being a signatory on a loan that the Juan Luis Hospital was applying for from Banco Popular. Luis Hospital tried to get a $2 million revolving line of credit from the bank but Banco Popular said it wants PFA approval.
Nellon Bowry, the hospital's chief financial officer, said, "We're here because the bank's attorney has advised us that we don't have borrowing authority of our own.".
Attorney James Hendel, counsel for the PFA, said the authority is responsible for the issuance of revenue bonds for the hospitals.
The board decided to go ahead and sign as long as all obligations to repay the loan fell on the hospital.
The Public Finance Authority was created in 1988 under Gov. Alexander A. Farrelly's administration to help the government issue bonds to borrow money for capital projects and to help manage those projects.
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