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WAPA Board First Meeting of 2016

(Thursday, January 21, 2016)

The governing board of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority on Thursday approved an approximate $260,000 contract with V.I. Paving for the completion of water line rehabilitation in Christiansted, St. Croix. WAPA Executive Director Hugo V. Hodge, Jr. said the authority had received a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to complete the rehabilitation of waterlines in downtown St. Croix. “The completion of rehab work on Company Street is the first phase of the project. With the Department of Public Works plans to pave Company Street in short order, it is best for WAPA to move forward and upgrade its water line infrastructure on this street.”

            The board, in its first meeting of 2016, also approved payment of submerged land fess for property occupied by WAPA on St. Croix. The payment in the amount of about $317,000 to the Department of Planning and Natural Resources will allow WAPA to continue conduct business on the submerged lands located at #31 Estate Penitentiary. The payment covers the period September 19, 2012- September 19, 2015 as is required in an existing lease between WAPA and DPNR. The property is occupied by the Seven Seas Seawater Reverse Osmosis facility. 

            Also approved today was a cost increase and time extension for the completion of protection system upgrades on two generators at WAPA’s Richmond power plant on St. Croix. The board approval provides for a cost increase totaling $188,877.90 to the original cost and a one year extension of the contract to allow for the work in upgrading St. Croix generating units 16 and 20 protection systems to continue. Once the upgrades are completed, the units will have the capability of responding to peak power demands. Both the LPG conversion of other units on St. Croix and overhauls on other generators caused a delay in the timeline of the upgrade project. “With the contract extension approved, the contractor can now reactivate the project and move towards completion of the work on both generators,” Hodge said.

            As one of the final items on today’s meeting agenda, Board Secretary Noel Loftus reported that, in Executive Session, a motion by board members to approve a four-year extension of Hodge’s employment contract failed on a tied vote. Voting against renewing the contract included member Elizabeth Armstrong, Commissioners Devin Carrington and Gustav James and Director Marvin Pickering. Voting for renewal were Board Chairman Gerald Groner, Esq., Vice Chair Juanita Young, member Cheryl Boynes Jackson and Loftus.

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