Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla signed into law Senate Bill 110, which amends the “Law of the Authority for the Redevelopment of the Land and Facilities of the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station” to extend its term as a public corporation for an additional 30 years, or until the Authority complies with the agreements with the U.S. Department of the Navy.
This legislation, dating from 2004, provided that the Authority would disappear this month, as it was only valid for 10 years.
“The project for the redevelopment of the former Naval Station Roosevelt Roads site is regarded a sone of the largest initiatives for sustainable economic development for the island,” according to the content of the newly minted law.
“The project, which includes the land occupied by the former Roosevelt Roads Naval Base and has approximately 8,720 acres of high economic, natural, historical and cultural value, will have a positive impact on the economy of Puerto Rico to attract investment and create jobs,” the mandate states.
In light of that, “it is an indisputable fact that the redevelopment of Roosevelt Roads is an important part of the government’s economic strategies and will result in great benefits for Puerto Rico. For this reason, we are committed to giving continuity and providing the necessary resources for its successful conclusion.”
The law also eliminates food stipends formerly granted to Authority board members.
The Navy completed the transfer of the former base’s lands and facilities to the government of Puerto Rico, totaling 3,409 acres, in May 2013. Payment for the property totaled $16.5 million and the stipulated term of the loan is 2015 to 2044.
Last month, high-ranking government officials backed extending the law to stretch the Authority’s life for another three decades, and that the entity should keep its status as a stand-alone public corporation to continue redevelopment efforts at the former naval base in Ceiba.