V.I. Public Finance Authority Board Holds Monthly Meeting

Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr., chairman of the V.I. Public Finance Authority (VIPFA) Governing Board, convened a regular meeting by virtual video conference at 2 p.m., Oct. 22. The discussion focused on resolutions related to the operations of the VIPFA and government relations efforts of the Virgin Islands Government, as well as quarterly updates from various VIPFA subsidiaries, including Kings Alley Management Inc. (KAMI), the West Indian Company Ltd. (WICO), and the Virgin Islands Next Generation Network Inc. (viNGN).

WICO reported that its finances were precarious and its cash reserves were diminishing as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the local

cruise industry. Ultimately, this financial status has heightened the “cash flow sensitivity” of the company.

Once again, Stephan Adams, CEO of the viNGN, assured the VIPFA board members that the organization has been prudent with its spending while focusing on the priority areas of its operations. Adams presented an update on the finances of viNGN, and he also outlined the status of its capital projects.

One such project entails the delivery of fiber to most commercial districts – Main Street and Red Hook, St. Thomas; Cruz Bay, St. John; and Central Christiansted and Central Frederiksted, St. Croix.

Another of its goals is to provide free Wi-Fi in public housing communities, expand internet access and make such access more affordable.

The VIPFA Director of Finance and Administration Nathan Simmonds presented financial information related to an amendment to increase the Public Finance Authority’s budget to account for an additional $1million to reflect the Legislature’s appropriation of $5 million, instead of the anticipated $4 million, from the Internal Matching Revenue Fund.

The board also approved an amendment to the Office of Disaster Recovery’s budget to increase the budget by $274,000 to cover operating expenses. The increase is to be funded by the federal disaster programs.

The Public Finance Authority Board also approved the following resolutions:

  • To continue an engagement with Winston and Strawn LLP for the provision of legal and government relations services;
  • To continue an engagement with Causey Demgen and Moore PC for the provision of investment advisory services;
  • To renew the contract of professional services between the VIPFA and Total Spectrum USVI LLC to provide government relations services;
  • To authorize the renewal of contracts with Benham and Hodge PC to continue to provide accounting services to the VIPFA and the Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation;
  • To adopt a tuition reimbursement policy for the PFA; and
  • To amend the Frederiksted Mall Rental guidelines relating to kiosk rentals.

Along with Gov. Albert Bryan Jr., the other board members attending the meeting were Office of Management and Budget Director Jenifer O’Neal, Finance Commissioner and VIPFA Executive Director Bosede Bruce, and Keith O’Neale. Bryan excused attorney Dorothy Isaacs from the meeting.

The next regular meeting of the Public Finance Board of Directors is scheduled for Nov. 24.