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Finance Department Makes $8.1M Payment To WAPA Out of HOVENSA Settlement Funds

valdamier collens

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — With the recent approval to appropriate $8.1 million to pay down the amount owed to the Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority (WAPA) by the Juan F. Luis Hospital and the Schneider Regional Medical Center, Commissioner of the Department of Finance, Valdamier Collens, said that the department was committed to executing the payment expeditiously in the best interest of WAPA and the territories’ hospitals, and today has done so.

“Cognizant that additional financial support is required to address the more than $20 million owed, we trust that this payment will assist in preserving the liquidity of both the hospitals and WAPA”, Collens said.

Bill No. 31-0347 was requested by Governor Kenneth Mapp and approved by the 31st Legislature to appropriate $8.1 million from a recent legal settlement to pay down the hospitals’ debt to the Authority.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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