Talks continue for Commission property - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Talks continue for Commission property

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - The Guam Economic Development Authority may have lost out on a billion-dollar deal for land owned by the Ancestral Lands Commission, but other negotiations for the agency land continue.  "Left in the Dark" is how one Guam senator described the legislature on a ten-digit deal GEDA had in the works for ancestral lands property.

Senator Judi Guthertz, chair of the Committee on the Guam Military Buildup says she is frustrated to learn GEDA was in negotiations with a Colorado-based company for land on the Federal Aviation Administration property.  Land that is now set aside for a certain group original Tiyan landowners as per a public law signed just this week. 

Guthertz called it incredible that neither GEDA nor the ALC attended public hearings on the Tiyan land bill or shared information about the deal for FAA land with members of the Legislature.  But while project director for GEDA Mike Cruz says negotiations for FAA are off he, says deals of for other lands are still on.

"We are negotiating on a number of other properties by the Ancestral Lands Commission," he confirmed.

Cruz says certain specifics on the deals cannot be disclosed but he did say what land at the center of the talks.  "Including properties down at Polaris Point, what's called Wettengel Junction - the corner of Route 3 and Route 1 - those are the two outstanding the ones we are negotiating on," he said.

Cruz says future deals may provide an alternative to the FAA deal in delivering compensation for landowners on Guam.  "The benefits from that we were negotiating were to satisfy claims of originals landowners," he continued.  "You know, there are probably other ways those claims can be satisfied."

KUAM News spoke with landowners today who are not included in the Tiyan land bill.  They say while they don't begrudge the possibility of one group receiving a long overdue payback, they are unhappy that under Guam Public Law 30-06, many people will remain uncompensated.

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