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WMA Begins Paying Debts

The Waste Management Authority board approved money for a generator for the Authority office at the Anguilla Landfill. (Source photo by Don Buchanan)

The Waste Management Authority board on Tuesday jumped right into solving an issue that has been plaguing it for years – debt to vendors.

The issue was able to be addressed because the V.I. Senate recently set aside $15 million for the Authority to pay outstanding debts.

Board Chairman Keith Richards pushed the question of debt payments to the top of the agenda because he was attending the virtual meeting from Fort Lauderdale and would call the meeting short to attend to matters concerning the death of his brother on Monday.

Roger Merritt, executive director, presented reports on more than $2 million worth of debts and projects. All but one was approved unanimously by Richards, Diana Collingwood, Daphne Harley and Laurence Richardson.

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Richards questioned Merritt about a measure authorizing a contract with Penn’s Trucking Services, Inc. and Ken’s Trucking for the daily movement of solid waste from St. John to the Bovoni Landfill on St. Thomas for the next three months. Merritt said the previous contractor charged on average $231,400 per month, so the three-month cost would be approximately $694,000 and the new contract with Penn’s and Ken’s could not exceed $504,000, “which will equate to a cost savings of $190,000.” Richards questioned whether the present contractor, United, received the same documents as the other trucking services when the contract was issued. Merritt said no, instead he had talked with United and asked that the present rate be reduced. Richards voted against approval of the measure.

Board member Nelson Petty Jr. was also present during part of the meeting but did not vote on any of the measures.

A contract for $260,000 for vacuum truck services was approved. Vacuum trucks clean wet wells at pump stations, manholes and sewer lines of debris.

Rendering those services were Lew Henley’s Sewage Disposal ($90,100); SD &C ($103,100); and Marco St. Croix ($69,000).

Merritt said the normal operation would be to utilize the Authority’s equipment, and the Authority plans to have two new vacuum trucks in the territory next summer.

The largest expenditure approved was $572,000 for Nadir pump station upgrades.

Two change orders were approved. The largest was $76,018 for Golden Grove Interceptor Gravity Line repair. This is a 24-inch diameter fiberglass line that transports sewage via gravity from Grove and Lower Love areas to the Bethlehem Interceptor and ultimately to the Harold G. Thompson Jr. Wastewater Treatment Plant. It goes on the south perimeter of the Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility. The original work was to replace a collapsed 220-foot section of a 24-inch fiberglass sewer line. During the repair, the contractor, SD&C Inc., discovered that Golden Grove underground electrical conduits were in the way. Due to this discovery, the sewer line had to be rerouted and went from 220 to 350 feet.

The second change order adds $8,000 to the telemetry monitoring system being installed at various pump stations throughout the territory.

The vote for the purchase of two generators taken by the board on Aug. 3 was read into the record. One generator is for the Anguilla Landfill scale house and one is for the administration building on St. Croix.

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