Following BVI Electricity Corporation’s (BVIEC) recent appeal for residents to pay their bills so it can fund infrastructural repairs, Works Minister Mark Vanterpool said the electricity company is in no way short of funds.
The BVIEC had stated that reconstruction of its electrical grid could come to a ‘grinding halt’ if customers did not settle their outstanding debts with the company.
“Absolutely not,” Vanterpool said when journalists asked if the BVIEC is short of funds.
“They have the funds. We provided the funds last week. The Premier wrote a cheque for some funds for them. That was $5 million.”
“So nothing will stop it. It’s not going to come to any grinding halt. I’m sorry to hear that you heard that news,” Vanterpool said.
He said the only factor that may slow down infrastructural reconstruction is time the company must wait for new materials such as utility poles, electrical wires, and transformers to arrive.
“Some have arrived already and some are coming. The transformers, especially, takes a little time to manufacture. They are coming and we are going to be providing funding to the corporation to ensure that they can continue the restoration,” Vanterpool said.
“The restoration should not stop except for certain things that would have a little longer laytime when we order,” he added.
The minister, however, concurred with BVIEC’s General Manager, Leroy Abrahams, that residents still need to pay their bills.
“I believe the general manager is correct in saying that if you can pay up your bills that were due before — those who can afford to do that should pay it up.”
Vanterpool, in the meantime, commended the electricity company on its accomplishments in the aftermath of catergory 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria. The hurricanes damaged nearly one hundred percent of utility poles.
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