9-Year-Old Boy Dies After Being Shot in Head in Croixville Housing Community; Police Detain 15-Year-Old

Concerned Residents Clean Christiansted Town Using Their Own Tools, Money, and Some Help from the VI Fire Service

Territory May See Veterans Cemetery Through DeGazon-Sponsored Bill

Credit and Debit Cards of WAPA Customers Were Compromised Since August 30th, WAPA Says, Authority to Finally Start Issuing Notification Via Mail and Email

Sports Tourism in VI Gains Momentum as DC United Team is set to Play Exhibition Soccer Game on St. Croix

Carnival Breeze Brings 3,700 Tourists to St. Croix During Maiden Call; Senators, Tourism Officials Want to See More

Limetree Bay Willing To Provide $10 Million To Help Add Life to a Dying G.E.R.S.

American Airlines to Serve St. Croix With New Flights Next Summer

The Sudden Death of Influential Roots Reggae Visionary, Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite Band and Akae Beka, Has Rocked the Virgin Islands and Reggae Community Around the World

Arthur A. Richards K-8 School Hosts Anti-Bullying Campaign

Come Out. Hang Out. Have Fun at The Meat Up, One of St. Thomas’ Latest Hot-Spot for Good Food with Friends and Family.

UVI Board of Trustees Approves $47.1 Million Fiscal Year 2020 Budget; Sets $3 Million Fundraising Goal

Man Dies During Early Morning Car Accident on St. Croix; Driver of Car Arrested (Updated)

'You Did Everything You Could to Prevent this from Happening': An Emotional Goodbye to Young Aaron Benjamin

Back in Business: Cost U Less on St. Thomas Opened its Doors Friday to Thousands of Customers 2 Years after Irma and Maria

Bill Aimed at Regulating Credit Use by Gov't Departments and Agencies Among Others Held in Committee

Juan Luis Hospital Announces Completion and Availability of Mobile Dialysis Facilities

Tractor Trailer With Tank Carrying Thousands Of Gallons of Liquified Gas Flips Near Cool Out Bar; Driver Injured But Alive

Credit and Debit Card Hack Through WAPA Appears to be Widespread in Virgin Islands; WAPA Says Support Services Will be Made Available to Affected Customers

Facing Life in Prison Without Parole, Mother and Boyfriend Plead Not Guilty in Murder of 4-Year-Old Boy

Senator Calls For Investigative Hearing On WAPA, Says Public-Private Partnership Is Best Path Forward

Breaking News / Business / Featured / News / Top Stories / Virgin Islands / WAPA / June 15, 2019

The partial privatization of the Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority may represent the best opportunity for reliable and affordable service, Senator Kenneth Gittens said Friday.

According to a release issued by Mr. Gittens’s office, the senator calling for investigative hearings on WAPA so that legislators have an opportunity to chart the best course forward, which he said is most likely a public-private partnership.

“I have formally requested that the Senate president move ahead with the investigative hearings he said would be called, however, all signs point to us needing to entirely restructure WAPA’s operations,” Mr. Gittens said.

In his letter to Senate President Novelle E. Francis Jr., Mr. Gittens writes that the wealth of critical and disturbing information revealed during the Committee of the Whole on June 5, indicates that in-depth investigative hearings are essential. During WAPA’s last appearance at the Legislature, Mr. Gittens uncovered information about an apparent loss of more than $2 million, which the utility says was wired to an offshore bank account.

“Unbelievably, this $2 million loss is not even among WAPA’s most significant problems, but is certainly indicative of the near total lack of accountability at the utility,” said Mr. Gittens. “I am convinced we cannot move forward without systemic change. After observing Wednesday’s meeting of the Public Services Commission, some may not want to hear it, but I believe even more sincerely that a public-private partnership is likely the best solution.”

The senator said that selling majority interest in WAPA to a qualified private operator will afford opportunity for innovation and better controls. He said such a partnership must provide protection to current employees, particularly those classified as hazardous duty, and should include provisions to safeguard the territory’s hospitals, nursing homes, schools and corrections facilities from disconnection.

“What is currently transpiring at WAPA is simply unacceptable and we must open discussions on a new path forward,” Mr. Gittens concluded.

Staff Consortium

Previous Post

Commenting On Additional $1 Million Provided To EDA For Marketing, Bryan Says Territory's Tax Incentives For Businesses Need More Exposure

Next Post

USVI Olympic Sprinter Laverne Jones Talks To Students On Sports, Life

Leave a Reply

More Story

Commenting On Additional $1 Million Provided To EDA For Marketing, Bryan Says Territory's Tax Incentives For Businesses Need More Exposure

ST. CROIX – On Friday, Governor Albert Bryan dedicated time to sit with the media to discuss various matters concerning...

June 15, 2019