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Home News Local news WAPA Board Approves Contracts for Underground Equipment, More Composite Poles

WAPA Board Approves Contracts for Underground Equipment, More Composite Poles

Workmen raise another composite pole on St. John. The new poles are replacing wooden poles that essentially haven't changed significantly in more than 100 years.
Workmen raise a composite pole on St. John. (Source file photo)

The Water and Power Authority Governing Board approved contracts and equipment purchases this week for projects that include putting electrical equipment underground and installing more storm-resistant composite poles.

At the board’s regular monthly meeting on Thursday, members approved a $1.1 million contract with PECO International Electric for materials to support three electrical underground projects on St. Croix. These initial projects, which are federally funded by FEMA and HUD, are located at the Wilfred “Bomba” Allick Port and Transshipment Center, Golden Grove and along Midland Road. A similar project is also approved for Cruz Bay, St. John.

The board also authorized Executive Director Lawrence Kupfer to begin negotiations and enter into a contract with Barkley Technologies for project management and design services associated with the installation of composite poles. The installation of composite poles is one facet of mitigation projects aimed at hardening the territory’s electrical grids. The poles will be installed where putting electrical service underground is not feasible. The contract total is $3.1 million. To date, roughly 2,800 composite poles have been installed territorywide.

Other board approvals included:

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– A consignment contract with the American Wire Group for the purchase of materials for the electrical system. The consignment contract totals $29.9 million.

– A no-cost, one-year extension to an existing contract with Haugland Energy for the removal of electrical waste. The contract end date is March 7, 2022.

– An authorization to enter into an agreement with Virgin Islands Oil and Transport Company for the sale of two oil storage tanks that are no longer used by the Authority. The sale price is $2.4 million. Additionally, the company will enter into a ground lease with WAPA over a 40-year period for the real property on which the tanks sit adjacent to the Randolph Harley Power Plant. The use of the tanks and operations of Virgin Islands Oil and Transport Company has been determined not to impede operations of the electric system.

– Three-month extensions of existing contracts with a pair of security guard companies. The companies provide guard services to WAPA facilities on all three islands.

– Additional funding to complete fiscal year 2018 financial and single audits.

– A collective bargaining agreement with the Professional & Technical Employees Union for a six-year term through June 30, 2024. The cost of the contract implementation through fiscal year 2024 totals $925,924.07.

– Extension of the maturity date of the Authority’s lines of credit with Banco Popular from Oct. 31, 2020, to Jan. 31, 2021.

Board members present at the meeting were Vice-Chairman Jed JohnHope, Secretary Juanita Young, Directors Joel Lee and Kyle Fleming, Hubert Turnbull, Cheryl Boynes-Jackson and Noel Loftus.

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