In a unanimous vote, V.I. Energy Office Director Kyle Fleming was elected chairman of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority’s governing board, succeeding Commissioner Anthony D. Thomas who has held the post since 2018. The election of officers was one of several actions taken Thursday by board members meeting via Zoom.
Fleming has been at the helm of the Energy Office (VIEO) for the past two years and most recently served as chairman of the board’s Planning and Economic Development Committee. Also, by an affirmative vote of all members present, long-serving board member Juanita Young was renominated for another year as board secretary. Young has chaired the board’s Audit and Finance Committee for several years. A board vice chair was not elected on Thursday after several members declined to accept nominations for the position.
Fleming, who expressed his gratitude to fellow board members for their confidence in his ability to lead the board, is expected to name committee chairmen shortly. In remarks before the election of officers, outgoing Chairman Thomas said WAPA is poised to continue a major transformation that will lead to increased service efficiency and reliability and more favorable rates for WAPA’s customers.
In other board action Thursday, members approved:
- the Fiscal Year 2022 Water System Operating Budget totaling $31.5 million but did not approve a proposed Water System Capital Budget. WAPA’s fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30;
- a cost increase on specific items included in a material consignment contract with American Wire Group. The board action also authorized the addition of items to the supply agreement;
- an extension of the maturity date of lines of credit and standby credit facilities with Banco Popular to Oct. 31, 2021 and a similar extension of lines of credit and an overdraft credit facility with First Bank through April 30, 2022.
The board voted down a proposed supply contract with Glencore Ltd. for No. 2 fuel oil and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel for the power plants on St. Thomas and St. Croix. WAPA’s current contract with Glencore Ltd. runs through Dec. 31, 2021.
In executive session, board members discussed legal and personnel matters and approved a strategy to hire the authority’s next general counsel. Attorney Dionne Sinclair is serving presently as acting general counsel.
Board members in attendance included Chairman Fleming, Secretary Young, Thomas, Cheryl Boynes Jackson, Hubert A. Turnbull and Elizabeth Armstrong. Director Joel Lee and Jed JohnHope were excused.