WAPA Board Approves Employee Health Insurance, Utility Operating Budgets

 

Noel Hodge is the CEO and interim executive director of the V. I. Water and Power Authority. (Photos by Alvin Burke and Barry Leerdam, Legislature of the Virgin Islands)

The Governing Board of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority met in an emergency meeting on Thursday and approved several items relating to the utility’s day-to-day operations. The board also approved budgets for the electric and water systems as well as contract extensions and a health insurance package that represents a no-cost increase for the employees.

“It is a significant milestone for WAPA to have secured a new benefits package and not have our employees experience an increase in the premium costs,” said Interim Executive Director Noel Hodge. “At a time when the cost of health insurance is on the increase, I am sure this will be a welcomed development for our employees,” he said. The board unanimously approved the benefits package for the utility’s employees.

In other action, the board approved:

– Fiscal Year 2022 operating and capital budgets for the electric system

– Fiscal Year 2022 capital budget for the water system

– A contract amendment providing an additional $85,000 for the Fiscal Year 2019                     Financial and Single Audits.

– A price increase of $345,034.59 in the cost of materials for the Container Port Electrical        Underground Project on St. Croix was approved. Commencement of the project is                    expected this month. The additional funding covers increased costs for project materials. The board also approved a contract time extension of 250 days.  J. Benton and Associates is the contractor on the project.

In executive session, the board discussed legal and personnel matters but took no action.

Board members in attendance included Chairman Kyle Fleming, Secretary Juanita Young, Elizabeth Armstrong, Cheryl Boynes Jackson and Hubert A. Turnbull.