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Company has to pay back rent to CLTC

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - Today marked the first meeting of the Chamorro Land Trust Commission's board of directors. The focus of the meeting was a junkyard in Barrigada Heights operating for years without a permit and without paying a single penny to the agency.

The owner of J.R. Towing, J.R. Mateo, will have to pay back rent for the years he's been operating his business in Barrigada Heights without a lease from the Chamorro Land Trust Commission, saying, "I did clear that with them that they still have of that back rental that they need to clear that before anything goes any further than that."

CLTC board chairperson Oscar Calvo says he along with commission administrator Monte Mafnas toured the junk yard with Guam EPA and the Mayor's Council. Mateo has been using the property after he was given authorization by the CLTC administrator, serving during the Gutierrez Administration. Among the issue of using the property and not paying a single cent, the commission board today also noted huge environmental concerns, as the property sits atop the northern water lens.

Mateo says this is why he is cooperating with the CLTC to clean up the waste. "We are trying to expedite this thing, the biggest obstacle and the conflict that I have out there is not only the economical downfall but also the last puzzle of this whole concept here that what we are doing, because of the towing and the storage to the automotive and to which is the exit plan, which is scrap," he said.

Unclear of the situation, CLTC vice chairperson David Matanane questioned Mateo of his actions since his company is one of the seven companies that the CLTC has publicly named as being delinquent in paying rent. "Does he have a lease? Because I think you are behind in your lease, was there any lease?," he said. Mafnas stated, "No lease and no license, they played tag team with Mr. Chu from Global but we tagged their team, me and the chairman, so that's why they are here now, so they had a written authorization but never received any lease or license. 526 but they are cooperating at this point in time."

While Mateo says he anticipates the entire clean up effort to take the next year to year and a half to complete, Mafnas assured the board that Mateo understands he will have to halt all operations on the property. "I told you and Mr. Chu that at the end of the operations you will cease and desist and you will relocate if in the event we enter into an agreement, you will cease and desist on those sites specifically in Barrigada Heights, especially on Batulo Road that you will vacate those premises," he said.

Mateo responded, "Yes."

Mateo also made a promise to the commission that he will be providing them with monthly updates regarding the progress of the proper removal of the metallic waste and trash at the site. Also of note was that the commission also discussed the delinquent accounts for the other businesses - Agfayan Inc., Communications Specialist Inc., Guam International Country Club, Guam Resource Recovery Partners, IBC Marianas, and Younex International, during executive session. Calvo says he is actively working with the administrator to address those leases to ensure they do not continue to go unpaid.

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