The governing board of the Water and Power Authority on Thursday approved a contract extension at its monthly board meeting, and received an update on the operations of the electrical and water systems.
According to a statement from WAPA, the board unanimously approved an existing contract with the auditing firm BDO to fund the cost of the Voluntary Employees Benefits Association Trust audit for Fiscal Year 2017. It also approved cost overruns associated with the electrical and water financial audits for the same fiscal year. The additional funding request cannot exceed $100,000 bringing the total of BDO’s work in FY 2017 to $400,000. The amendment also funds the cost of both the VEBA trust audit and the electrical and water systems audits for Fiscal Year 2018. The amendment provides another $30,000 to fund BDO’s work in FY 2018, work that is capped at $395,000. WAPA must conduct the audits to maintain compliance with local and federal regulations.
In a summary of his monthly report to the board, Executive Director Lawrence Kupfer said potable water service to the west end of St. Croix had returned to normal. The main problems have been dealt with and lingering low pressure while the Kingshill storage tank slowly filed. But 200 potable water customers from Estate La Grange to the Frederiksted ball park did see a water service interruption Friday as a result of a broken main line in the vicinity of Krystal Springs Water.
Kupfer recapped the installation of new pumps, reactivation of control devices, and other work done to end the water service interruption. The new pumps have contributed to an increase of water flow to the Kingshill tank of approximately 300-400 gallons per minute. Early Thursday morning, the water level stood at 7’ 6”.
On the electric system, he reported that the testing phase for three new generators at the Harley plant on St. Thomas is underway. The new engines will be started for the first time later today and are expected to be tested with load on Sunday. On St. Croix, progress is being made towards commissioning new units at the Estate Richmond plant within the next week. The new generators being introduced in St. Thomas and St. Croix are powered by propane. Kupfer also told the board that there were no OSHA reportable injuries at the Authority during the month of February.
Board members present included: Chairwoman Elizabeth Armstrong, Vice Chairman Hubert Turnbull, Secretary Juanita Young, Cheryl Boynes Jackson, Noel Loftus, and Gerald Groner.