V.I. Port Authority board members ratified a vote Tuesday that would give Seaborne Airlines until July to pay off what it owes in back rent and fees for operating in the territory.
According to board members, a poll vote on the payment agreement was taken before the Christmas holidays, but was made official at the VIPA board’s monthly meeting Tuesday on St. Thomas. According to the financial statements, Seaborne owes more than $100,000 and has promised to pay off the full amount by July.
The first payment was made Dec. 27, according to board attorney Don Mills. The second payment will be made in March, with the final payment coming by July 31.
The vote was followed Tuesday by a lengthy discussion on the board’s finances, with staff members reporting that the Port Authority had incurred a $1.6 million operating loss as of Nov. 30, 2013: $1.3 million less than the anticipated budget, and $66,000 less than what was realized during the same period last fiscal year.
According to the numbers, VIPA earned operating revenues of $7.4 million during this time but incurred operating expenses of $9 million, resulting in the $1.6 million operating loss.
Staff members attributed the loss to the aviation division, while saying the marine division posted a $605,000 operating profit.
In other news, the board elected new officers: Robert O’Connor was re-elected as VIPA board chairman, Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls was voted vice chairman and Labor Commissioner Albert Bryan Jr. was selected as the secretary.
Board members attending Tuesday’s meeting included Bryan, Gordon Finch, Manuel Gutierrez Jr., O’Connor, Allison Petrus, Smalls and Yvonne Thraen.