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WAPA Board Approves Retainer Contracts for Hurricane Season

(Thursday, June 23, 2016)

Interim Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) Julio A. Rhymer, Sr. received approval on Thursday to enter into agreements with vendors whose assistance would expedite the restoration of electrical service in the aftermath of any tropical weather system. The approval came at the monthly meeting of WAPA’s governing board on St. Croix.

"Additional manpower, equipment and other resources are needed to supplement the existing line department personnel and equipment, to ensure a safe and expedited restoration of service after a hurricane or other tropical weather system that may impact the territory. Entering into contract with these companies follows an open bidding process that determined the interest of the vendors in working with WAPA,” Rhymer said. The one year retainer agreements are with BBC Electrical Services, Sumter Utilities and Service Electric. Rhymer was also authorized to negotiate and enter into similar agreements with Bryan’s Electric and Bonnville Group. He noted that the companies are not mobilized into action until called by the Authority.

Also approved by the board was a contract extension to upgrade the water infrastructure in Frederiksted, St. Croix. The contract was extended for an additional 49 calendar days at no additional cost to WAPA. “During the execution of the project some unforeseen circumstances developed,” Rhymer explained, noting that an unusual amount of rock was encountered on the project route which caused a slowdown of work over a three-week period. The contractor also experienced a seven-day rain delay. The contract with Rotating Equipment Corp. was originally set to expire on June 24, 2016.

The board tabled a one-year option on an existing contract with Total Petroleum to provide vehicle fuel to the Authority. The existing contract called for fuel to be shipped from St. Thomas to St. Croix, because there were no fuel storage facilities on St. Croix. The board asked that the contract be revisited now that options for fuel storage exist on St. Croix which may possibly result in a cost difference on the contract.

Additionally, the governing board approved the revised implementation date for the Authority’s Drug, Alcohol and Unauthorized Substances Policy, from June 10 to July 1, 2016. 

Board members in attendance included: Chairman Gerald Groner, Esq., Vice Chair Juanita Young, Secretary Noel Loftus, Commissioners Gustav James and Devin Carrington, and Cheryl Boynes-Jackson. Director Marvin Pickering and Elizabeth Armstrong were excused.

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