“Pardon our dust” will be the V.I. Waste Management Authority’s new motto when it soon starts work on a wastewater pump station in Cruz Bay. It will be located where the existing pump station sits in the parking lot across from the post office.
“Eight months is the projected time,” Waste Management Director May Cornwall said at the meeting held Friday at St. Ursula’s Multipurpose Center.
When the project is finished, the existing pump station building next to the public bathrooms will remain. The fence will be moved out about a dozen feet to make room for the hatches on the new pump station.
The project will cost $1.1 to $1.2 million and is funded by the U.S. Department of Interior.
There will be inconveniences for the public. For starters, some portion of the parking lot will be used during construction.
“The operation takes big machinery and the materials are massive,” Waste Management’s chief engineer James Grum said.
This means that drivers will have to scramble to find parking in already congested Cruz Bay. The parking lot at Enighed Pond has helped with St. John chronic parking problem, but it’s a good hike when residents just want to make a quick run into the post office.
Dave Riley of Island Roads, the contractor for the project, said that paths to the spot in the parking lot where the Liston “Huntie” Sprauve ambulance boat is docked will be kept clear. Additionally, there will be a path to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building on the north side of the parking lot.
The Port Authority, which owns the parking lot, will also have to find another location for Patrick’s bar, which sits in the parking lot, because the environment during construction won’t be good for the bar.
“They’ll definitely be noise and dust,” St. John Administrator Leona Smith said.
The worst disruption will be at the beginning as the project gets under way. Cornwall said it’s imperative to get the project started soon in order to have this phase of it over by the time the tourist season ramps up in November and December.
Waste Management is ready to start the project but first needs to sort out the lot number where the pump station sits. Cornwall said it’s government property but has no lot number, and without a lot number, the authority can’t get the appropriate permits. However, she said the Planning and Natural Resources Department is working with Waste Management to quickly resolve the issue.
Cornwall she called the meeting to get input from the public. However, the smattering of people who came out for the meeting was mainly government officials and the media.
According to Cornwall, she plans to keep the public informed as the project goes forward.
The new pump station is necessary because the old one is dilapidated. Waste Management Chief Operating Officer Steven Aubain said it the new one will save on electrical costs because it will be more efficient.
The pump station moves waste water from the Cruz Bay area to the sewage treatment plant at Enighed Pond. There are also pump stations at Pond Mouth and Power Boyd.
Cornwall said George Simmons Terrace in Estate Adrian has a small package sewage treatment plant that Waste Management maintains.
Cornwall said there is still a “decent” amount” of capacity in the sewage treatment plant at Enighed Pond, but Waste Management has an agreement with the Port Authority to use adjacent land if it needs to expand as St. John grows. The sewage treatment plant is about 10 years old.
In discussing other Waste Management efforts on St. John, Aubain said that efforts are under way to rein in the roaming livestock, mainly pigs, at the Susanaberg landfill. Cornwall said that is part of the improvements planned for the trash compactor where St. John’s trash is compacted before it’s shipped to the Bovoni landfill on St. Thomas.