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WAPA Board Approves Several Water System Projects

WAPA offices on St. Croix
WAPA offices on St. Croix

The Governing Board of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) approved a number of water system related projects, many aimed at improving potable water service on St. Croix. The approvals came during the board’s monthly meeting Thursday.

The approved water system projects include:
· Extension of contract with CDR Maguire for completion of a Water System Master Plan. The contract is being extended as a result of the delayed payment to the contractor. The master plan will provide WAPA a 20-year blueprint for water system upgrades and expansion.

· Another contract was extended and a change order approved for the Pressure Management Phase II project. The project is a continuation of the already installed Phase I. The second phase of the project seeks to regulate water system pressure while reducing line loss and maintenance costs. The change order calls for a time extension of the project by 140 calendar days. The new completion date is February 17, 2020.

· Authorization to purchase Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) water meters for both districts. Using funds from a federal grant, the water division will migrate its metering system to AMI, eliminating full-time manual meter reading for the water division, and improving consumption accountability. AMI water meters will also shorten the time it takes to read an entire billing cycle and increase meter reading accuracy.

The board also approved additional funding and a contract extension with Arcadis US Inc. for air quality performance testing of the new Wartsila generators at the Harley Plant. The project is a mandate of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s consent decree and one of WAPA’s air operating permits. The additional funding totals $130,000. The contract extension through Jan. 31, 2020 will provide sufficient time for the testing of the newest generating units at the Harley plant, and allow time for an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) response.

Approval was also granted for a contract extension with rate consultant Raftelis, formerly PRMG. Raftelis will provide consulting services to WAPA on its Electric System Rate Case through April 30, 2020. The contract total is $215,000.

In his monthly report to the board, Executive Director Lawrence J. Kupfer reported that all post-storm restoration work in the 2019 hurricane season has been done without injury or incident.

“Our employees are working diligently, and adhering to all safety standards at our power plants, and in the field, as is evident during the periods of restoration following Hurricane Dorian and Tropical Storm Karen.”

He also discussed training that is available to WAPA employees at no cost. “This is a great opportunity for our employees to capitalize on training in light of the budgetary constraints that have required us to scale back off-island travel and training.” The training programs will be available through the Authority’s applicant tracking system known as NeoGov.

Board members in attendance included Chairman and Commissioner Anthony D. Thomas, Vice Chair Noel Loftus, Secretary Juanita Young, Hubert Turnbull, Gerald T. Groner Esq., Elizabeth Armstrong, Directors Joel Lee and Kyle Fleming, and Cheryl Boynes-Jackson.

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