On Friday morning board members of the Magens Bay Authority met for the first monthly meeting of the year to discuss safety issues concerning the beach’s access road and to confirm their meeting schedule for 2017.
Chairwoman Katina Coulianos said the board is concerned about cars speeding down the access road that goes into the beach, but that posting more signs likely wouldn’t ease the problem given there’s already too many signs cluttering the roadside.
Because the speed limit is set so low at 10 miles per hour, Coulianos and other board members said it is difficult to enforce. They discussed whether raising the speed limit to 20 mph would make a difference in decreasing speeding, but the board members did not make a decision about whether they will explore the issue further.
To deter speeding, the board is also considering asking the V.I. Police Department to have a speed trap set up on the access road from time to time, but they noted officers are in short supply and there might not be the manpower to do so.
The board said it plans to remind the V.I. Taxicab Commission that it is watching for speeding drivers and will be reprimanding those who drive too fast.
Board member Terri Griffiths said, “The taxi drivers realize any claim against their insurance will hurt everyone and bring their dues up.”
The board also discussed the year’s meeting schedule, noting that they will have special working meetings through the end of March, in which committees will meet to discuss topics like planning and finance.
To ease bookings of sheds at Magens Bay and Smith Bay, which the authority also manages, the board plans to discuss what needs to be done to improve their website and make online reservations possible in the future.
Regular board meetings will reconvene at the end of April. The board will hold a separate public meeting on the status of the new concession in the coming weeks after they meet with Jaredian Design Group, the firm working on the project, to determine a date.
Determining a policy for a food concession vendor is one of the most pressing items for the board to address, Coulianos said.
“We don’t want to build a new building and then look for vendor – we want one before,” Coulianos explained.
The food vendor in the new concession will be responsible for building out the kitchen, so the board wants the business to be involved in the interior design phase sooner than later. But first there must be a policy in place to select a vendor and to determine the length of the contract.
Board members also discussed the parameters of a possible V.I. National Guard training exercise at Magens Bay in the late spring. In the past, the MBA has allowed for similar training exercises and has ensured that no harm is done to the environment as a result.
The board also talked about the renegotiation of labor contracts, a process that happens every three years with its employees who are part of the V.I. Workers Union. Currently the board is considering a wage increase proposal from the union and is preparing a counteroffer, but it did not have further details at meeting time.
Board members Elliot Davis, Dayle Barry, Coulianos, Griffiths and Robert Moron were present at the meeting, as was general manager Hubert Brumant. Board member Barbara Petersen was off-island.