WAPA OKs $340K contract for Christiansted streetlights

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ST. THOMAS - At its regular monthly meeting, the V.I. Water and Power Authority board approved a contract for the installation of streetlight bases in Christiansted as a part of the Christiansted underground streetlight project.

As hurricane season moves into its peak months, the board also approved a contract to provide emergency and supplemental manpower and equipment to WAPA's power plants in both districts at a cost of $375,000 per district.

As part of the streetlight project, ZENON Construction will install concrete streetlight bases in downtown Christiansted at a total cost of $341,500. The installation will allow WAPA to remove 56 200-watt high-pressure sodium lights and overhead secondary wires installed on wood poles in downtown Christiansted and replace the lights with decorative, energy-saving LED lighting, according to a statement the utility released Friday.

In other business at its meeting Thursday, the board:

- Approved a contract for $264,429 with Industrial Tank Cleaning Technology Inc. to do the annual cleaning and inspection of tank No. 7 at the Richmond Power Plant on St. Croix. The contract calls for the company to clean the tank, dispose of the sludge, and inspect the tank for compliance with the American Petroleum Institute code.

- Approved the renewal of health insurance policies with CIGNA Healthcare, effective Sept. 1, at a total cost not to exceed $6,360,000 for health insurance and long-term disability.

- Authorized the executive director to execute a contract with FTI Consulting Services to assist WAPA with a public education effort regarding the upcoming switch from fuel oil to liquefied petroleum gas. The contract will be granted through Dec. 31, at an amount not to exceed $273,396, which will be shared 50 percent with the liquefied petroleum gas supplier-project developer.

During his report to the board, WAPA Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr. discussed the arrival of eight propane storage tanks, which were unloaded at the St. Croix Port Authority Container Port on Wednesday.

Hodge said two more shipments will follow, one with two tanks and the final with eight tanks, and they will all be stored at the Container Port until they can be moved to their respective sites at the Estate Richmond and Randolph Harley power plants.

Also during Thursday's meeting, the board unanimously re-elected its current officers for another one-year term: Gerald Groner as chairman; Juanita Young as vice-chairwoman; and Noel Loftus as secretary.

Board members in attendance at Thursday's meeting were Groner, Young, Loftus, Donald Francois, Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Wayne Biggs Jr. and Elizabeth Armstrong.

V.I. Energy Office Director Karl Knight, Department of Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Alicia Barnes and Cheryl Boynes-Jackson were excused.

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