V.I. Water and Power Authority board members on Wednesday approved the authority’s fiscal year 2017 budget and the renewal of a $15 million line of credit with Firstbank Puerto Rico.
According to WAPA officials, the board approved a total of $17.5 million for the electric system capital budget and $268.7 million for the system’s operating budget, along with a $14.2 million for the water system’s capital budget. The water system’s operating budget was approved at $30.9 million.
To pay off working capital needs, including fuel invoices and other outstanding bills, board members also authorized WAPA interim Chief Executive Officer Julio Rhymer to enter into an agreement with Firstbank for the renewal of a $15 million line of credit, along with another agreement with the bank for a second line of credit totaling $18 million.
“These capital lines of credit provide continued funding that allows the authority to acquire capital assets for electric and water production, distribution systems and related facilities,“ Rhymer said Wednesday.
He also said the working capital lines of credit provide funding for key operating and maintenance expenditures, along with the collateral needed for the renewal.
The board also approved an agreement with Banco Popular to extend the maturity date on other lines of credit – totaling $11.8 million – for the electric and water systems. The approval was for a one-year renewal at terms similar to current fees and interest rates.
Board members attending the meeting on St. Thomas Wednesday were Elizabeth Armstrong, Noel Loftus, Devin Carrington, Gerald Groner, Esq. and Cheryl Boynes Jackson.