Adelup: buildup discussion far from over - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Adelup: buildup discussion far from over

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Although the Programmatic Agreement has been signed, discussions about the military buildup are far from over as there are still a number of outstanding issues that must be negotiated and resolved. The signatures may have been placed on the PA, but the discussions surrounding the specifics of the military buildup have only just begun.

Just Sunday Naval Facilities Engineering Command posted a Cultural Resources Information Page on its web site, as per a stipulation in the Programmatic Agreement dealing with the Department of Defense's documentation and consultation with the Guam State Historic Preservation Officer on the efforts to minimize and mitigate adverse effects to historic properties for projects scheduled for award this fiscal year. 

The documents show that the Apra Harbor Medical/Dental Clinic, Apra Harbor Waterfront Headquarters Building, wharf improvements, military working dog kennel and Finegayan Fire Station will not have any impact on historic properties, as was determined by the SHPO and the DoD.

Governor's senior policy advisor Arthur Clark told KUAM News, "As far as Adelup's involvement, it's really technical now so everything just goes through the SHPO; so that's how that process works and they just present their plans over there."

While the Guam SHPO, Lynda Aguon, and her office have their work cut out for them, the work continues for the Calvo Administration as well on other aspects of the buildup, such as the military's plans to utilize Route 15 for firing ranges.  Last week during a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Readiness, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and the Environment Jackalynne Pfannenstiel testified that she hopes negotiations for leasing that land will begin soon with a goal to have an agreement in principle by the fall.

But Clark says those discussions haven't begun yet, noting, "As far as negotiations for any land leases or land acquisitions going forward, we haven't started any. So it's really the prerogative of the DoD, then when they're ready to contact to us to start negotiations in earnest to make the initial contact.  It's not like we're trying to solicit their selection of a particular site."

Clark admits the pending lawsuit filed by the Guam Historic Preservation Office, We Are Guahan and the National Trust for Historic Preservation could also have an impact on the military's plans on the Back Road to Andersen, but he stresses that should the government begin negotiations for leasing the property, discussions will stay within the parameters of what was agreed upon and outlined in the Programmatic Agreement.

Another concern for Adelup at this point is the provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that would charge the Guam Waterworks Authority $300 million to take over Fena. It also provides for a DoD representative to have at least 33% voting rights on the Consolidated Commission on Utilities. Said Clark, "We've been asked to start looking at this issue and do a legal analysis of what the issues are and it is a concern and we are looking at it. I'm going to do some research on the background of Fena itself and also this NDAA provision and brief the governor, so for future negotiations and discussions with the military we can make sure we're prepared to address these issues."

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