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Mayors asking for heavy metal

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The village mayors' efforts to rid the island of abandoned vehicles and other debris are making its way back down south. There seems to be concerns surfacing that have put a delay in the project.

Island mayors have had an uphill battle trying to clean up their respective villages that have been littered with illegal dump sites, abandoned vehicles, white goods and metal objects.  While Santa Rita and Barrigada have seen significantly cleaner streets, Sinajana Vice Mayor Robert Hoffman admits the program is running slower than expected which has prompted the mayors council to consider purchasing heavy equipment trucks to speed up the process.

"The mayors have been wanting heavy equipment, not just because of this, but because the many uses that we can do on a daily basis...every mayor wants to do it now we kind of don't want to wait for that list and so we're caught in between because there's an existing contract but its always been the desires of the mayors to say just give me the money and I can do it," Hoffman explained.

Currently mayors have a contract with Bali Steel to remove the waste. It expires later this year. While all village leaders agree that having their own trucks will save millions in the long run, Yigo Mayor Bob Lizama expressed some reservations with the idea, saying, "If that is the gauge and the direction that its going to take we need to make sure that our personnel whoever is going to be identified to be responsible and be the operators of this heavy equipment such as the backhoe and dump truck are rightly and knowingly trained to operate this."

Lizama also had concerns with how much it would cost to maintain the heavy equipment vehicles. While the idea is still in the planning stages and cleanup continues, Hoffman says island residents can help speed up the efforts. "People aren't being proactive registering with their mayor's office, so the mayors are having to go door to door and its taking a lot longer than anticipated because of that and we are just really urging the residents to contact their mayor and get on that list," he said.

Hoffman asks the community for their patience as they are working to resolve the matter. In the meantime, he says crews will begin clean up efforts in Yona on February 7.

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