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WAPA Board Approves FY 2015 Budget

(Thursday, June 26, 2014)

In their monthly board meeting on Wednesday, June 25, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Governing Board approved the Authority’s electric and water systems budgets for fiscal year 2015. The electrical system’s capital budget, totaling $74,685,060, includes funding from bonds at $31.6 million, WAPA Internal funds of $11.6 million, and an RUS Loan of $9.7 million, among several other sources. The electrical system’s operating budget has total revenues of $314,963,448, while the total expenditures of $306.3 million include over $207 million in fuel expenses. The water system’s capital budget totals $13,880,441, funded mostly by grants of $9.3 million, along with other sources. The water operating budget has total revenues of $35,090.26, and total operating expenses of approximately $33 million. This allows the Authority to have a senior debt coverage ratio on the electrical at 3.10 and water at 1.62.

In an effort to replace the Authority’s aging vehicles, as well as to standardize the fleet, the board voted to authorize the Executive Director to enter into a one year contract with Caribbean Auto Mart to procure vehicles. This one year contract allows for evaluation of the procurement process as well as the expected cost reductions. Benefits of this process include lower vehicle cost based on purchasing directly from the manufacturer, reduction of cost by having standard inventory parts and reduction in maintenance cost due to certification training for in-house mechanics, which allows the Authority to remain compliant with the warranty.

The Board also approved amendments to contract SC-38-13 (Dashiell Corporation) to reduce the initial project total which was incorrectly quoted, from $12,904,981.68 to $12,167,942.68; and to include additional funding to cover the cost incurred when the contractor encountered an abundance of Caliche Rock while excavating the site of the Mid-island substation.

Approval was given by the board to authorize the Executive Director to enter into contracts with vendors to supply fuel for fiscal year 2015. Fuel supply contracts will be secured with Total Petroleum to provide fuel to WAPA vehicles on St. Thomas at a cost not exceeding $401,775; and with Chitolie Trucking to provide fuel delivery services on St. Croix at $7,000 (based on 7 cents per gallon of fuel delivered. A purchase order will be secured to purchase vehicle fuel on St. Croix directly from HOVENSA at the prevailing rack rate, not to exceed $318,175.

Board members in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting were Acting Chair Juanita Young, Secretary Noel Loftus, Donald Francois, Planning Committee Chair, VIEO Director Karl Knight and Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Wayne Biggs. Board Chairman Attorney Gerald Groner, Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Alicia Barnes, Cheryl Boynes-Jackson and Elizabeth Armstrong were excused.