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HomeNewsArchivesMagens Bay Authority Poised to Take Charge of Lindqvist Beach

Magens Bay Authority Poised to Take Charge of Lindqvist Beach

July 11, 2007 — Magens Bay Authority members are already planning to oversee the operations of Lindqvist Beach, even though they are not yet authorized to do so by V.I. law.
During the second round of budget hearings Wednesday, Magens Bay Authority board chairman Aubrey Nelthropp told senators that the organization has plans to revitalize the beach, adding such things as restrooms and other amenities for both residents and visitors. Half of the money needed to complete the project — some $750,000 — has been included in the miscellaneous section of the governor's fiscal year 2008 budget proposal, he explained.
The authority has been a self-sufficient agency for nearly a decade, and has continued to manage and maintain Magens Bay without receiving a subsidy from the local government. A large chunk of the authority's profits — some 80 percent — comes from the admission fees it collects at the gate, while another 8 percent comes from sales at the beach's concession stand.
After the government officially purchased Lindqvist Beach last November, senators passed a bill authorizing the authority to manage the property and appropriated $1.5 million as seed money for the beach's operations. (See “Magens Bay Authority Could Manage Lindqvist, But How Remains in Question.")
However, the bill did not make it past Gov. John deJongh Jr. At the time, he said the government did not have enough money to cover the appropriation. Still, Nelthropp said on Wednesday that deJongh has promised to split the cost of the project over the next two fiscal years, breaking up the money into $750,000 increments.
Once the money has been allocated, all senators have to do is pass a bill turning control of the beach over to the Magens Bay Authority, Nelthropp said. Once that happens, the authority will provide round-the-clock access to Lindqvist and charge admission to cover whatever expenses are incurred.
While senators had few questions for Nelthropp during the meeting, many suggested that the appropriation included in this year's budget be adjusted to cover the entire cost of the project, currently estimated at $1.5 million.
Impressed by the organization's presentation, some senators also joked that the authority begin to look at managing a few of the beaches on St. Croix.
"We need someone like you to take over Cramer's Park," said Sen. Ronald E. Russell. "Really, you guys do a good job."
Nelthropp fired back with a joke of his own: "You want to know our secret? We are not a political organization."
Earlier in the meeting, Nelthropp said the authority also plans to revitalize the lookout point across from Drake's Seat, adding a boardwalk so the existing retaining wall doesn’t block the view.
"It's going to look so beautiful," he said.
Present during Wednesday's meeting were Sens. Liston Davis, Juan Figueroa-Serville, Louis P. Hill, Neville James, Terrence "Positive" Nelson, Russell and James Weber III.
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