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HomeNewsLocal newsWAPA Nearing Completion on St. Croix, St. John Projects

WAPA Nearing Completion on St. Croix, St. John Projects

The power plant above on St. Thomas is preparing for testing of new generators. (Contributed photo from WAPA)

The Water and Power Authority’s Governing Board approved three contract extensions Thursday morning. Two involved no cost increases, but one did.

The contract with BDO, the accounting firm auditing WAPA, originally ended last December. It was then extended through this month.

Thursday, WAPA officials asked that it be extended through April at an additional cost of $115,000. This brings the firm’s bill for auditing 2019 and 2020 to $855,000. The initial contract was for $655,000. An additional $85,000 was approved by the Governing Board earlier.

Chavante Marsh, interim project management director, presented a two-year contract for supplies of urea from DeNoxDirect that was approved by the board. Urea is a solution added to diesel to alleviate pollution. The supply contract calls for payment of no more than $6.5 million a year. The additive is needed for the running of the Wartsila generators at the Randolph Harley Power Plant expected to go online this summer. The contract also includes an option for an additional year.

The contracts that included no cost increase were to complete the Midland underground project and complete the archaeological services in Cruz Bay. The archaeological services contract with the University of Tennessee was extended to Aug. 15. The project was begun in March 2021 but was delayed last year due to the discovery of archaeological remains. Cordell Jacobs said the extension was necessary to ensure the remains found a suitable “final resting place.”

Andrew Smith, WAPA’s CEO, reported that the Clifton Hill waterline rehabilitation project, which was begun in June 2022, is now 95 percent complete. This project includes the replacement of all existing ductile piping and water mains in the Clifton Hill area, in addition to all related laterals, valves, fittings, and hydrants. The upgrade, according to WAPA, will transition the current pipe system from ductile iron, which can sometimes cause water discoloration, to heavy-duty C900 PVC pipe. Additionally, the project introduces a new metering system and allows for a reduction in waterline breaks.

Smith added that as the system comes on in upcoming weeks, there will be some controlled outages, mostly late at night.

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