The Governing Board of the V.I. Public Finance Authority met Tuesday via videoconference and voted unanimously to execute the term sheets with Banco Popular and First Bank for $60 million in loans to fund government operations.
“The revenue anticipation notes will be split with $30 million being loaned by Banco Popular and First Bank lending the other $30 million. The funds will be used to assist with government operations that have been adversely affected by economic slowdown and revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the news release.
With the notes already having been approved by the V.I. Legislature, the PFA board plans to meet again at the end of July to approve the actual loan after the final loan documentation is reviewed by its legal team.
“More and more businesses are shutting down because they can’t take the weight. We have such a tight economy if the government reduces spending anymore, we’ll be in a cataclysmic situation,” Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. said in a statement.
Bryan, who also serves as Chairman of the PFA Governing Board, also noted that his administration has the lowest number of employees of any government in the last 20 years.
“We have a closed-circuit economy, and if you don’t feed into it, it will just spiral down,” Bryan said.
The PFA board also unanimously approved a cleaning services agreement with Balboa Construction Corporation to provide cleaning and general maintenance services five days a week and enhanced sanitation for the PFA building on St. Thomas, considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The contract is for $63,120 per year with an option to renew for one year and to be partially funded by federal COVID-19 disaster recovery relief funds.
The board voted unanimously to authorize the chairman or the executive director to execute correspondence transferring a portion of the 2020 Private Activity Bond Volume Cap in the amount of $54.73 million from the total Bond Volume Cap of $59.28 million to the V.I. Housing Authority.
The transfer allows the Housing Authority to issue tax-exempt bonds for the modernization of the D. Hamilton Jackson and Alphonso Gerard public housing communities and the Wilfred Pedro Homes (Whim Gardens) affordable housing community for seniors.
The board then moved into executive session and Bryan reported out that they discussed:
• A refunding opportunity for the Matching Fund bonds and received an update regarding the 2018 audits for the authority and its component units.
• That the 2018 audits were completed on the revised schedule and the authority is now working on a seamless transition towards completion of the 2019 audits.
• Increased monitoring of its subsidiaries through staff attendance at board meetings of its subsidiaries, submission of monthly operations reports to the authority, and the presentation of quarterly reports to the board.