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WAPA Board Approves Continued Work on C'sted Underground Streetlight Project

(Friday, July 25, 2014)

In their monthly board meeting on Thursday, July 24, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Governing Board approved a contract for the installation of street light bases in Christiansted as a part of the Christiansted underground street light project.  ZENON Construction at a total cost of $341,500 will install concrete street light bases in downtown Christiansted, which will allow the Authority to remove 56 200watt high pressure sodium lights and overhead secondary wires installed on wood poles in downtown Christiansted, and replace the lights with decorative, energy saving LED lighting. 

The board also approved a contract with Patrick Charles Enterprises to provide emergency and supplemental manpower and equipment to the Authority’s power plants in both districts at a cost of $375,000 per district. In the event that additional manpower is needed or there is demand for additional work, Patrick Charles Enterprises will provide all necessary services and equipment.

To allow for the annual cleaning and inspection of tank #7 at the Richmond Power Plant, the board approved a contract with Industrial Tank Cleaning Technology, Inc.  At a total cost of $264,429.39, the contract calls for the company to clean the tank, dispose of the sludge, and inspect the tank for compliance with the American Petroleum Institute (API) 653 code.  Compliance with the code will result in the discovery of any deficiencies with the tank which can then be scheduled for correction.

In other measures, the board approved the renewal of health insurance policies with CIGNA Healthcare, effective September 1, at a total cost not to exceed $6,360,000 for health insurance and long-term disability; and authorized the Executive Director to execute a contract with FTI Consulting Services to assist the Authority with a public education effort regarding the upcoming switch from fuel oil to LPG.  The contract will be granted through December 31, at an amount not to exceed $273,396.25, which will be shared 50% with the LPG supplier/project developer.

Thursday’s WAPA Working for You! segment featured the day-to-day operations of one unit in the Authority’s Information Technology (IT) Division.  Nicole Scatliffe, and IT Network Specialist, likened the IT division to the body’s circulatory system.  “Like the blood running through the veins,” said Scatliffe, “IT provides critical services to the entire organization.”  Scatliffe summed up the division’s work in four categories: building, monitoring, maintaining and repairing the Authority’s information/communication systems.  This is done to ensure all divisions within the Authority remain connected.  IT’s latest endeavor is the complete underground connection of the Authority’s newly constructed substation in Mid-island St. Croix to the Richmond Power Plant through fiber optic cables.  While this work is extremely tedious, and must be done mostly at nights when there is less roadway traffic, Scatliffe says it is challenging and rewarding.

WAPA Executive Director Hugo V. Hodge, Jr., in his Executive Director’s Report, noted with excitement that the first shipment, eight propane storage tanks, was unloaded at the St. Croix Port Authority Container Port on Wednesday, July 23.  He said two shipments will follow, one with two tanks and the final with eight tanks, and they will all be stored at the Container Port until they can be moved to their respective sites at the Estate Richmond and Randolph Harley power plants.  Hodge expressed his appreciation to V.I. Port Authority Executive Director Carlton Dowe for his assistance with storage of the tanks at the St. Croix port.

During Thursday’s meeting, the board unanimously re-elected its current officers for another one-year term: Attorney Gerald Groner as Chairman, Juanita R. Young as Vice Chair and Noel Loftus as Secretary. The Authority has a nine-member board of private and public sector members consisting of engineers, business owners, energy and environmental experts, financial professionals, an attorney, and several commissioners.

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

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