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HomeNewsArchivesCALLWOOD TERMINATES BARGE AGREEMENT

CALLWOOD TERMINATES BARGE AGREEMENT

April 7, 2001 — The Virgin Islands government has terminated a controversial contract with the Jost Van Dyke Water Company, which took possession of a deteriorating water barge in March after an agreement was struck between the company and the V. I. government.
The barge, with its two reverse osmosis plants, was given to the territorial government by the General Services Administration in 1998 to augment water producing capabilities on St. Thomas. However, it was never made operational.
The contract termination was ordered by acting Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood on Thursday, one day after the contract dominated his confirmation hearings before the Senate Rules Committee.
In a letter to David Blyden, director of the Jost Van Dyke Water Company, Callwood said the government terminated the contract in accordance with an existing clause in the pact both governments agreed on. Callwood was not specific on why the deal was off. He also wrote to Attorney General Iver Stridiron asking for an opinion on whether the government is liable for severing the terms of the contact. Callwood also asked Stridiron for an opinion on the procedures used in executing the contract. Several senators had complained that the contract was rushed through the process to avoid it being detected.
In other correspondence Callwood asked both the V.I. National Guard and the Water and Power Authority to take control of the barge and add it to their respective water producing capabilities.
When it first came to the island the barge was moored off Hassel Island. There were concerns at the time from some about the damage it could cause if it broke loose in the harbor during a hurricane.
Months later, it was taken to Hurricane Hole in St. John where it sat dormant for more than two years. In a broadcast interview Friday, Blyden said he saw the potential for the reverse osmosis water barge when he first saw it off St. John. He then entered into talks with Public Works for possession of the barge. The final agreement allowed the water company to repair and use water produced by the barge but the vessel was to be brought back to the territory in short order if it were needed.
One of the sticking points in the agreement is that the V.I. government must retain not only ownership but possession of the barge for a five-year period before it can dispose of the vessel, once part of military surplus equipment.
Government House had no comment on the Callwood decision Friday.

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April 7, 2001 -- The Virgin Islands government has terminated a controversial contract with the Jost Van Dyke Water Company, which took possession of a deteriorating water barge in March after an agreement was struck between the company and the V. I. government.
The barge, with its two reverse osmosis plants, was given to the territorial government by the General Services Administration in 1998 to augment water producing capabilities on St. Thomas. However, it was never made operational.
The contract termination was ordered by acting Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood on Thursday, one day after the contract dominated his confirmation hearings before the Senate Rules Committee.
In a letter to David Blyden, director of the Jost Van Dyke Water Company, Callwood said the government terminated the contract in accordance with an existing clause in the pact both governments agreed on. Callwood was not specific on why the deal was off. He also wrote to Attorney General Iver Stridiron asking for an opinion on whether the government is liable for severing the terms of the contact. Callwood also asked Stridiron for an opinion on the procedures used in executing the contract. Several senators had complained that the contract was rushed through the process to avoid it being detected.
In other correspondence Callwood asked both the V.I. National Guard and the Water and Power Authority to take control of the barge and add it to their respective water producing capabilities.
When it first came to the island the barge was moored off Hassel Island. There were concerns at the time from some about the damage it could cause if it broke loose in the harbor during a hurricane.
Months later, it was taken to Hurricane Hole in St. John where it sat dormant for more than two years. In a broadcast interview Friday, Blyden said he saw the potential for the reverse osmosis water barge when he first saw it off St. John. He then entered into talks with Public Works for possession of the barge. The final agreement allowed the water company to repair and use water produced by the barge but the vessel was to be brought back to the territory in short order if it were needed.
One of the sticking points in the agreement is that the V.I. government must retain not only ownership but possession of the barge for a five-year period before it can dispose of the vessel, once part of military surplus equipment.
Government House had no comment on the Callwood decision Friday.