Mapp's Million-Dollar Hotel-Project Request Contains Few Specifics
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Senators got few specific details from the administration when discussing Gov. Kenneth Mapp's request for $1 million for an array of unspecified expenses it may undertake to get several name-brand hotels onto St. Croix.
The legislation calls for $1 million to pay for "professional services, studies, and expenses related to the planned development and financing of The St. Croix Brand Hotel Project.
Senators looked over a recently completed study from HVS Consultant and Evaluation LLC that found St. Croix could use three large high-end branded hotels and questioned Public Finance Authority Director Joanne Bozzuto and Budget Director Nellon Bowry about the plan. Senators repeatedly said they supported the plan in principal but wanted more information and more checks on how the money is spent. The measure was held for planned amendments to require periodic reports as the money is disbursed.
Sen. Nereida Rivera-O'Reilly O'Reilly asked for details about the planned uses for the $1 million.
"There is not a line item budget," Bozzuto said, adding that the principals of the Amalago Bay hotel project proposed for Frederiksted "came to us when they experienced excessive and extreme delays from the federal agencies." She suggested that some activity to address that might come under the purview of the legislation, but did not say it definitely would.Dealing with unnamed entities in China was a major point emphasized by both Bowry and Bozzuto.