83.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, July 24, 2024


Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd, who voted against the Water and Power Authority – Southern Energy Inc. joint venture Saturday, has written to Senate President Vargrave Richards requesting a meeting during the week of Sept. 11 to address the "serious problems that continue to plague WAPA."
Although Liburd promised Sunday to ask Richards to convene public hearings, the request is for a Committee of the Whole meeting – not necessarily for the public, according to a spokesperson from Liburd's office.
Liburd asked tha WAPA Executive Director Raymond George, all the WAPA board members and the financial officers, be in attendance.
"Throughout the three days of hearings on this issue, it was made clear by both those who supported and opposed the deal that changes must be made within WAPA to insure improved quality of service and reduced rates for all consumers," Liburd said in his letter.
In explaining his vote against the joint partnership, Liburd said he does not believe the Southern proposal, while good in some respects, offered the territory the best deal. "WAPA is worth more than a couple hundred million dollars," he said.
The WAPA profit margin should be around $20 million a year, he said.
"If the authority is profitable when the government owes millions, then we should find out why WAPA is not as profitable as it should be. I would be against allowing the status quo to prevail," Liburd said.
Over the weekend Liburd hinted that he would support an attempt to contract out the management of WAPA and dismantle the governing board. In his letter to Richards he said, "We must try and develop a comprehensive plan to help WAPA become the best it can be. If this means we must make some radical changes by restructuring the board, then it is our responsibility to do so."
A call to Richards to determine if he intended to meet Liburd's request had not been returned as of publication.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.