by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The Consolidated Commission on Utilities approved the Guam Waterworks Authority's budget for the coming year and plans are in the works to head to the bond market in a few weeks. CCU chairman Simon Sanchez says the utility agency is attempting to borrow $118 million that will go toward various construction projects related to the stipulated order, fixing the system and repairing leaks.
Officials will present their plan to ratings authority Moody's and Fitch in the hopes to receive an upgraded rating, which would result in lower interest rates. Said Sanchez, "It's all part of a goal of beginning to borrow the money needed to fix the system; however, with the military buildup it looks like there's an opportunity to get significant money from the federal government. So we may not have to borrow money in the future, at least in the immediate future."
While GWA's budget went up $13 million from this fiscal year, Sanchez says $62 million will be spent on repairs and maintenance, while $80 million will go toward capital improvement projects.