LAWMAKERS APPROVE LEASE AGREEMENTS

Published: Mar 6, 2023

ST. THOMAS – Members of the Committee on Budget, Appropriations, and Finance convened in a meeting at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall. All items on today’s agenda were approved and will be forwarded to the Committee on Rules and Judiciary for further consideration.

Lawmakers considered the following lease agreements:

Bill No. 35-0017, an act approving the lease agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands, acting through its Commissioner of the Department of Property and Procurement, and Suntech Group, Inc. d/b/a St. Thomas Gas for Parcel No. 4 Submarine Base, No. 6, Southside Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, consisting of approximately 27,732.393 U.S. sq. ft. or 0.637 U.S. acre as shown on P.W.D. File No. D9-1426-T78 to be used for the purpose of operating a trucking, transportation, delivery, and retail business of bottled propane gas, and for no other purpose.  The measure was proposed by Senator Novelle E. Francis, Jr.

Per testimony delivered by Vincent Richards, Deputy Commissioner for Department of Property and Procurement, the property will be used for operating a trucking, transportation, delivery, and retail business of bottled propane gas, and no other purpose whatsoever. The term of this agreement is for ten years, and the lease agreement provides for two renewal options of five years each. The annual rent for the above-referenced parcel will be $54,000.00 payable in equal monthly installments of $4,500.00 during the term of this lease. The rent payable under this lease agreement will be adjusted after the first year and every year thereafter, including any renewal term, in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase, established by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, subject to a three percent cap in the increases each year.

Bill No. 35-0018, an act approving the lease agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands, acting through its Commissioner of the Department of Property and Procurement, and A-9 Trucking Enterprises, Inc., and Sarnelli Bros., (V.I.) Inc. d/b/a V.I. Recycling Company. The measure was proposed by Senator Novelle E. Francis, Jr.

Per testimony delivered by Richards, the lease agreement between VI Recycling and the GVI is for an unimproved portion of Parcel No. 1-19 Estate Bovoni, Nos. 1 & 2 Frenchman’s Bay Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, consisting of approximately 247,061.17 U.S. sq. ft. or 5.67 U.S. acres of land. The property will be used to operate a scrap metal collections and sales business, and for other related purposes. The term of this agreement is for ten years, and the lease agreement provides for two renewal options of five years each. The annual rent for the above-referenced parcel will be $54,000.00 payable in equal monthly installments of $4,500.00 during the term of this Lease. The rent payable under this Lease Agreement will be adjusted after the fifth year and every year thereafter, including any renewal term, in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase, established by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, subject to a three percent cap in the increases each year.

Bill No. 35-0019, an act approving the lease agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands, acting through its Commissioner of the Department of Property and Procurement and the Virgin Islands Telephone Corporation, d/b/a/ VIYA, for a portion of a telecommunication tower and bunker in Building No. 1, Suite 2, Parcel No. 6, Recovery Hill, Company Quarter, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, consisting of a telecommunications tower and a 9’ x 8’ room and bunker, zoned P, for the establishment and operation of wireless link connections and to house associated equipment in the 9’ x 8’ bunker, and for no other purposes whatsoever. The measure was proposed by Senator Novelle E. Francis, Jr.

Per testimony delivered by Richards, the term of this lease agreement is for ten years, and the Lease Agreement provides for two renewal options of five years each. The annual rent for the above-referenced parcel will be $36,000.00 payable in equal monthly installments of $3,000.00 during the term of this Lease. The rent payable under this Lease Agreement will be adjusted after the first year and every year thereafter, including any renewal term, in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase, established by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, subject to a three percent cap in the increases each year.

 

Bill No. 35-0025, an act approving the lease agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands Department of Property and Procurement and Anthony Isaac d/b/a Ace Trucking and Trash Removal. The Lease Agreement between Ace Trucking and the GVI is for Parcel No. 124 Subbase, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, consisting of approximately 33,050 U.S. sq. ft. or 0.758 U.S. acre of improved land. The property will be used for operating a garbage removal, trucking, transportation, and delivery business, and for other related purposes. Senators Novelle E. Francis Jr., and Angel L. Bolques, Jr.

Senator Donna A. Frett Gregory voiced concern with the length of time it takes for lease agreements to be renewed, especially with existing businesses.

Per testimony delivered by Richards, the term of this lease agreement is for ten years, and the Lease Agreement provides for two renewal options of five years each. The annual rent for the above-referenced parcel will be $24,000.00, payable in equal monthly installments of $2,000.00 during the term of this Lease. This Lease Agreement also includes a Construction Period of thirty-six months during which the lessee will complete improvements to the Premises. During the Construction Period, Lessee will pay reduced rent of $500.00 per month for the first twenty-four months and $1,000.00 per month for the twenty-fifth to thirty-sixth month. The rent payable under this Lease Agreement will be adjusted after the first year and every year thereafter, including any renewal term, in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase, established by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, subject to a three percent cap in the increases each year.

Senators present at today’s committee hearing included Donna A. Frett-Gregory, Novelle E. Francis, Jr, Samuel Carriόn, Dwayne M. DeGraff, Ray Fonseca, Javan E. James, Sr, Franklin D. Johnson, and Carla J. Joseph.

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