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May 2024
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ST. THOMAS EAST END MEDICAL CENTER CORPORATION DEFENDS FISCAL YEAR 2023 BUDGET, COMMITTEE CONSIDERS LEASE AGREEMENT

Published: Aug 29, 2022

ST. THOMAS – The Committee on Finance, chaired by Senator Kurt Vialet, concluded budget hearings today at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall and considered a lease agreement.

Moleto Smith, Jr, the Executive Director of the St. Thomas East End Medical Center Corporation returned to deliver detailed figures as it pertains to their Fiscal Year 2023 budget. The General Fund appropriation recommended for Fiscal Year 2023 was $2,100,000. This amount is the same as Fiscal Year 2022. This included $1,424,643 for personnel services, $181,805 for fringe benefits, $383,552 for other services and charges, and $110,000 for utilities.  The Fiscal Year for the Corporation differs from that of the Government of the Virgin Islands. It runs from March 1 to February 28, while the GVI’s Fiscal Year runs from October 1 to September 30. As of July 31, 2022, the Corporation had spent $1,749,930 from its General Fund allotment.

The Committee considered Bill No. 34-0278, an act approving the Lease Agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands, acting through the Commissioner of the Department of Property and Procurement and On The Level d/b/a OTL MECHANICAL for the leasing of Parcel No. 69 Submarine Base, No. 4 Southside Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The measure was proposed by Senator Donna A. Frett-Gregory.

Vincent Richards, the Deputy Commissioner of Property & Printing at the Department of Property and Procurement delivered testimony. The lease agreement between OTL and the Government of the Virgin Islands is for improved Parcel No. 69 Submarine Base, No. 4 Southside Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands consisting of 29,000 US Square Feet, or 0.68 U.S. acre of land.  The term of the agreement is for twenty years, with two additional five-year option periods. The annual rent will be $17,493.72, payable in equal monthly installments of $1,495.31. The rent payable under this lease will be adjusted after the first two years of the term and will increase annually in accordance with the schedule in the lease agreement.

Beginning in the seventh year of the lease, then annually thereafter, including any renewal term, the rent payable will be further adjusted in accordance with the increase of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as established by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The proposed lease would allow OTL to operate a general construction and plumbing contractor business, and for no other purpose. The use of the premises is contingent upon OTL obtaining the required permits and licenses for the operation of the business.

Todd Donohoo, president of On The Level, Inc, dba OTL Mechanical gave brief testimony. The company has been in operation since 1990, and performs licensed plumbing, HVAC, and general contractor services. It currently has 78 employees and provides services throughout the US Virgin Islands. The lease spaces would be used to house their operations. The company has invested more than $500,000 in renovation and reconstruction of the premises which was destroyed after the 2017 hurricanes. The lease agreement was voted upon favorably and will be sent to the Committee on Rules and Judiciary for further consideration.

Senators present at today’s committee hearing included Kurt Vialet, Dwayne M. DeGraff, Donna A. Frett-Gregory, Javan E. James, Sr., Janelle K. Sarauw, Samuel Carrión, Angel L. Bolques, Jr., and Novelle E. Francis, Jr.

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