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WAPA Board Approves Community Disaster Loan to Offset Continued Revenue Loss

Elizabeth Armstrong at an April WAPA board meeting.

Chairwoman Elizabeth Armstrong at a WAPA board meeting.

In an emergency meeting Wednesday, the governing board of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) authorized borrowing of up to $20 million dollars in an additional FEMA Community Disaster Loan (CDL). Loan proceeds will be used to offset the continued loss of revenues. Previously, WAPA received a $75 million CDL to address critical operating expenses in the wake of hurricane-related damages.

WAPA has been in talks with FEMA and the U.S. Department of Treasury regarding the additional CDL against the backdrop of cash collections, which declined significantly in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria. Although cash collections have improved as WAPA resumed billing customers for post-storm electrical and potable water service, the authority continues to experience a significant shortfall in revenues, due to a decrease in sales.

Board members present included Chairwoman Elizabeth Armstrong, Vice-Chairman Hubert Turnbull, Secretary Juanita Young, Commissioner Nelson Petty Jr., Noel Loftus and Cheryl Boynes-Jackson. Commissioner Devin Carrington, Director Marvin Pickering and Gerald T. Groner Esq. were excused.

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