83.9 F
Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, January 29, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesSettlement Reached in Public Housing Water Bill Issue

Settlement Reached in Public Housing Water Bill Issue

May 28, 2007 — A settlement of outstanding water invoices at five public-housing communities on St. Croix means the V.I. Housing Authority will pay the Water and Power Authority almost $2.5 million and put another $1 million in escrow.
The agreement was reached at a recent meeting at Government House convened by Gov. John deJongh Jr, according to a Government House news release. Under terms of the agreement, the VIHA, under HUD receivership, will pay WAPA 70 percent of the outstanding accounts payable as of May 7. That figure is pegged at $2,457,448.55. Additionally, the VIHA will hold in escrow the remaining 30 percent, or $1,053,192.24.
“The potable water accounts have been outstanding for some time at the
D. Hamilton Jackson, Ralph de Chabert, John F. Kennedy, Aureo Diaz Heights and William’s Delight Villas public-housing communities,” deJongh said Monday, according to the news release.
The agreement will also require both agencies to constitute a joint-assessment task force to review ways in which the two entities can resolve their concerns regarding WAPA billing at the five housing communities.
“I compliment Mr. Bruno-Vega and Mr. Hollis for negotiating a compromise that is in the best interest of all parties,” deJongh said. “It is important to me that agencies which have disputes meet, discuss the issues and reach a solution that is in the best interest of everyone.”
Other conditions of the May 24 agreement require VIHA to pay 70 percent of each WAPA invoice in the five housing communities until metering issues at each community are resolved, the news release said. The agreement also outlines a goal of resolving open-water distribution items up to the meter within a six-month period, or by Nov. 23.
“We appreciate the Governor’s intervention and leadership,” said VIHA receiver Attorney Michael Hollis at the conclusion of the meeting. “His involvement was superb.”
The agreement will go a long way toward boosting WAPA’s cash flow, said WAPA Executive Director Alberto Bruno-Vega. “For years we have been carrying this debt for the VIHA,” he said. “The $2.4 million payment will ease the cash-flow crunch, and the agreement means we can address outstanding concerns of the VIHA such as metering and the losses recorded at each housing community.”
The U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved the agreement on Friday, the news release said.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

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.