As of the end of June, the V.I. governments overdue Water and Power Authority bill had reached $22.6 million, according to the utilitys executive director.
While the amount due is substantial, it is about $6 million less than the $28.8 million the government owed in fiscal year 1999, WAPA Executive Director Raymond George said in a release Thursday.
George said that over the last five years, accounts receivable from the government have ranged from the $28.8 million in 1999 to about $6 million in fiscal year 1995.
In FY 1996, the government owed WAPA $11.5 million. That increased some $6.5 million in FY 1997 to total about $18 million, George said. The amount owed jumped again in FY 1998 by $7.8 million for a total of approximately $25.9 million.
WAPAs government receivables increased again in FY 1999, the highest over a five-year period. George said all of the figures except those for FY 2000 have been audited.
Over the last five years, the governments water bill has accounted for the largest part of its unpaid balance. The amount due on water has ranged from a low of $3.4 million in FY 1995 to a high of about $15 million in FY 1999, George said.
The electrical system was owed a low of $2.6 million in FY 1995 to a high of $13.8 million in FY 1999, George said.
In her assessment of the state of WAPA in early August, WAPA board chairwoman Carol Burke said the government's unpaid bills have the utility on the verge of economic crisis.
In early August, Burke said WAPAs revenues for fiscal year 2000 were approximately $98 million for electricity and $30 million for water, while expenses were about $89 million and $23 million, respectively.
At that point, the government owed $10.2 million and counting for electricity and at least $9.1 million for water. Non-government receivables were $2.4 million for electricity and about $3 million for water, she said.