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Parks & Rec enforcing permits at parks

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - It's been in the books for years and even went through the administrative adjudication process, but because of a lack of enforcement, park permits haven't been implemented for years.  But that's all about to change and that means it could have an impact on your plans to head to the beach with the family for a BBQ and some fun in the sun and sand.

With summer here and the 4th of July right around the corner, many of you may be planning that day at the beach complete with a barbeque with your family. But the Department of Parks and recreation is putting you on notice. If you show up with a BBQ pit, cooler, canopy and tables without a permit - you won't be allowed to party.  The agency will be enforcing park permits that must be acquired before utilizing any shelter or open area in any of the island's 76 parks.

"Because of the trash the complaints that's been coming in, our biggest problem has been the unpermitted people," noted acting director Pete Calvo. "People that go there without regard because they have no obligation simply leave the place trashed. They leave their trash behind."

Calvo says the situation has gotten so bad that the agency realized that immediate enforcement is necessary. "For the unpermitted individuals it has become quite a problem we normally find trash bags left in place, trash strewn all over the area and it's been hard to control," he added.

Calvo says it's unfair for those who follow the rules and obtain the necessary permits for functions at one of the island's parks to watch as unpermitted individuals set up shop near their parties complete with canopies, BBQ pits, coolers and tables, saying, "There's people that do come in and sign for the permit and to be fair we do need to address everybody equally.  Especially even they have the permit for a pavilion here and then a tent sets up right in front of them. That's not nice. Have a little bit of respect for the person that actually rented the area."

So the next time you intend to pack up the family, the BBQ pit, coolers and canopies, you'll need to plan ahead and obtain the necessary permits at the Parks & Rec offices in Agana Heights across from Naval Hospital.

"The individual pavilion shelters are normally $15 apiece," explained Calvo, adding, "you can set up one 20-x-30 canopy. Open spaces are only $10 apiece and you can set up a 20-x-20 canopy."

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