Nearly $46 million is owed to the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC), its Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson revealed on Monday.
“We have been working assiduously to collect these monies,” Gibson said during his budget contribution.
“Moreover, I have directed the general manager and the finance division to conduct a review of all accounts, determining those that can be collected, written off [and] pursued via the courts.”
Gibson said $45.9 million is owed to the corporation, of which $31.9 million is for water purchases on New Providence.
He said of that $31.9 million, $19.1 million is owed for residential; $5.2 million for non-residential; and $7.5 million for government agencies.
The chairman said $7.3 million is owed for sewer usage in New Providence and $6.5 million for water purchases on Family Islands.
In Treasure Cay, Abaco and Spring City, Abaco, $23,483 is owed for sewerage usage, according to Gibson.
Gibson also highlighted “a number of bad contracts” during his presentation in the House of Assembly.
While noting that the corporation does not intend to renew these contracts, Gibson said, “Last year, we had an incident where a plant operator in Eleuthera did not pay BPL (Bahamas Power and Light), leaving a bill of $200,000, notwithstanding the fact that WSC included payments of electrical bills in its remittances.
“BPL consequently disconnected which meant that the section of the island would not be able to access water after our reserve tanks were depleted. What’s more, the plant did not have a backup generator. I had to intervene and, along with Minister [of Public Works Desmond] Bannister, was able to have BPL reconnect with the undertaking that WSC would garnish outstanding BPL amounts from their future payments.”
He noted that the corporation has paid more than $80 million for Family Island-based reverse osmosis plant operators.
Between 1997 and 2019, the government paid Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (CWCO) $304 million, according to Gibson.
“As [of] May 16, 2019, total CWCO invoices outstanding stood at $12 million,” he said.
Speaking about other expenses the corporation was contractually obligated to pay, Gibson said, WSC has “paid for and contributed to the salary of a private company’s staff members in Ragged Island for 15 years”.
“WSC pays for any and all building maintenance costs for the buildings the plants are in,” he said.
“WSC pays for the maintenance [and] landscaping of the grounds. WSC pays for the drilling of all the wells, including the water supply well, usually two supply wells and the disposal well. That cost alone has been reported by hydrologist [and] senior engineer John Bowleg as costing WSC $300,000 per drilling contract.
“WSC provides the backup generator to maintain the water supply for the plants, barring there are no backup generators if power fails. WSC pays for the fuel for all generators.”
The chairman also noted that the corporation covers the cost for storage tanks, the construction of the plinths for the plants and the automatic transfer switches and power connections to the plants.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice
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