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Press Release From Independent Source

Senator Alicia V. Barnes calls for suspension of electricity disconnections in USVI

US Virgin Islands Senator Alicia V. Barnes. Photo: VI Consortium
FREDERIKSTED, St Croix, USVI- Senator Alicia V. Barnes has implored the Governing Board of the Water and Power Authority (WAPA) to immediately suspend its policy of disconnections to all customers in the US Virgin Islands (USVI).

Senator Barnes also asked that since the state of emergency was declared on March 13, 2020, any customer who may have been disconnected, be reconnected immediately.

According to the Energy and Policy Institute, most major utility companies have indicated that they will suspend disconnection during the COVID-19 crisis.

“This is a matter of saving lives,” stated Senator Barnes, “Nationally we already are aware of over 20 states that have taken some type of action to suspend disconnections. We must adopt this same mindset in the Virgin Islands.”

Senator Barnes further informed the Governing Board that on March 20, 2020, sixteen (16) Democratic US Senators wrote to Senate Majority Leader Addison Mitchell McConnell aka 'Mitch' and Senate Minority Leader Charles Ellis Schumer aka 'Chuck' urging them to adopt a nationwide suspension of all utility disconnections, as part of the third COVID-19 relief package.

Senator Barnes stated that as a government, WAPA recently received assistance when it requested and needed it most. Now, the people of the Virgin Islands need WAPA to do what is right, and suspend disconnections.

“We must work together collaboratively to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the territory” the Senator stated.

Senator Barnes asks all customers that are able to pay their utility bill to continue to do so. “I recognise that the authority needs to collect revenues to meet operating expenses. However, we must balance the needs of the Authority with the needs of the people during this crisis. I also know that those customers who can pay, will continue to pay, and I thank them in advance. However, we are all aware that many in our community will begin to experience economic hardship as a result of the measures taken to stop the spread of COVID-19, and we must help those individuals,” the Senator stated.

The Senator has also implored Governor Albert A. Bryan, Jr. to support her stance to have all disconnections of water and electrical services suspended, for a 60-day period.

1 Response to “Senator Alicia V. Barnes calls for suspension of electricity disconnections in USVI”

  • Not Like (24/03/2020, 18:43) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    At least they are looking out for the poor people in their constituents, not like this set here in the BVI. They shutting down everything yet you can't hear how they intend to help those who going end up suffering financially due to the closures.

    To have a myopic view is to one's detriment.

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