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Ferries Might Seek Rate Increase to Cover Higher Costs

Representatives for the territory’s franchise ferry companies might soon be asking Public Services Commission members to approve a rate increase to cover expenses associated with running two new government boats between St. Thomas and St. John.

No rate increase is in the works yet, but the companies’ attorney Maria Tankenson Hodge told PSC members Thursday night during a meeting on St. Thomas that Varlack Ventures and Transportation Services have had to take care of insurance, lease payments and other expenses for the new boats even though a finalized lease or a signed operating agreement is not in place.

Giving an update on the companies Thursday night, Hodge said the companies were starting to analyze how the new costs were affecting them.

PSC members also approved new minimum filing requirements for the V.I. Water and Power Authority on any changes in Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause rates. WAPA is currently on a six-month cycle with the PSC making adjustments twice a year, but WAPA representatives said during the meeting that the new measures would favor the authority by putting in place definite timetables for responses and reports.

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The PSC also voted to postpone until its next meeting a petition from Momentum Telecom for local Voice over Internet Protocol services.

Present during Thursday’s meeting were PSC board members Johan Clendinen, M. Thomas Jackson, Andrew Rutnik and Joseph San Martin.

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