By Monique Washington
CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — The Nevis Electricity Company, (Nevlec) recently decided to privatise the reading of meters because finding young people to do the job has become too difficult, in part because of “gang foolishness.”
“Yes we have privatized the meter reading aspect of it. It is still new but it is working fine so far,” Premier Mark Brantley told the Observer.
“Part of the problem that we were having is that all the meter readers that we had were all aging and were coming to the age that they will be retiring and we were having difficulty hiring young people,” he said.
Brantley said that some of the young men who were interested in the job were unable to do because gang ties would not allow them to travel to certain parts of the island.
“That’s the gang foolishness that we had in the country for a few years,” Brantley said. “So if you hire them you can tell yourself you would not be collecting any money from some people in some areas or you will have to be sending them estimated bills.”
Brantley said that he agreed with the company’s decision to privatise the meter reading. New meter reading will be done on a “contractual basis” with Nevlec.
Brantley said there would be no additional cost to Nevlec for the contracting. The current meter readers with Nevlec will not be laid off and will be absorbed into the rest of the company.
Brantley said that one the new meter-reading contracts has already been given to a retired meter-reader, Wilmot “JoJo” Parris.