Sport

$5m JPS bill has crippling effect on JCA

Bad Light

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer Senior Reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, December 20, 2013    

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A $5 million Jamaica Public Service (JPS) bill inherited by the newly elected Wilford 'Billy' Heaven-led Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) has prompted a move for an independent utility metre at the Sabina Park facility.

Wayne Sutherland, the JCA's treasurer, revealed to the Jamaica Observer's Sports Club yesterday that it is a move that is in the pipeline and must be considered seriously.

"The JCA has significant financial problems. Right now there is a deficit... millions of dollars of unpaid bills that are presently at the JCA," said Sutherland, the former Kingston batsman.

Currently, the JCA occupies a section of the Gerge Headley Stand and the entire facility is operated by Sabina Park Holdings, which Sutherland indicates could be in a worse financial bind than the JCA.

"In the meantime we need to have the regular JCA offices separated from the entire ground's bill because... the bill for the whole ground includes demand charges whether you use it or not, and the frequency that it is used the electricity bill can become very oppressive," noted Sutherland, whose administration took over on November 28.

"When the place is empty you still have to be paying these demand charges and Sabina Park in their financial situation is unable to manage that, so there is a backlog with JPS that has to be addressed," he reiterated.

Sunderland said there is a recommendation to separate the distribution of electricity, with each entity having its own metre.

"I am suggesting that we put that on a separate metre so it's not part of the major utility bill. Right now there is a significant backlog and millions of dollars are owed," he added.

The electricity bill is approximately $800,000 a month, Sutherland outlined.

"For the office now, we need to separate from that whole arrangement and a solution has to be found for having power. Right now generators provide the power and this is not a long-term thing," he said.

"I don't have the full solution as yet, but it is common sense that we have to do this"

The JCA is also toying with the idea of solar energy as an alternative to reduce their costs for electricity.

"This is one of the things we have to consider. We have all of this roof and space that may be suitable for putting panels and this is something the previous administration had considered," said Sutherland.

"But I have not seen a proposal yet and we have not commissioned any to see how we could use solar. It must be an option; it's just how you finance the capital cost (that's the issue)," he added.

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