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A stateside consultant group has issued suggestions for remaking St. Thomas and the greater Virgin Islands from top to bottom. Recommendations run the gamut, from establishing bike lanes and promoting scooter traffic to creating new government agencies.
WAPA executives responded to charges that it has been unresponsive to customer complaints by providing a full report to the Public Services Commission at its Thursday meeting, detailing the areas of concern and how they are being dealt with.
The Virgin Islands Public Services Commission voted Thursday to censure commission member Johann Clendenin, reprimanding him for allegedly “demeaning, insulting, disruptive and disrespectful behavior.”
Senate votes to bailout WAPA with funds from GERS.
After a second emergency meeting on Monday, the governor and senators agreed in principle to make an emergency appropriation later this week to pay immediate past-due accounts to Vitol to restore propane supplies and keep the electricity flowing at the V.I. Water and Power Authority.
Without the 2.5 cent base rate hike the Public Services Commission denied on Thursday, the V.I. Water and Power Authority will default on its debt to Vitol, cutting off propane and forcing it to revert to oil, which will up the cost of fuel by 20 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Residents who gathered for a hearing of the Public Services Commission Thursday hoping to hear news about the proposed WAPA rate increase got a double whammy: Not only did the PSC decide not to act on the utility’s request for a base rate increase after hours of testimony, but it also approved a decrease in both water and electric Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause (LEAC) rates.
WAPA is losing money and swimming in debt, with very high electricity costs. Decades of hospitals and government agencies using it an involuntary lender by not paying power bills have starved it, forcing chronic delays in maintenance and upgrades. But not all is doom and gloom.
WAPA is swimming in debt. Where did it come from? What can be done about it? Some in the PSC, Senate and the public feel this debt is the result of mismanagement. Is it? And how much does it matter, if we have to pay up anyway?
It will surprise no one to hear that finances at the V.I. Water and Power Authority are not good. But can it become sustainable? Is the news all bad or is there sunlight?
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