More delays for Abandoned Vehicle Program - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

More delays for Abandoned Vehicle Program

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - If you live in one of the 16 remaining districts that have been waiting for junk vehicles and metallic waste to be cleared, it seems you may have to wait even longer. And the funds originally intended for the program were evidently redirected for other purposes by the front office.

There was a lot of frustration from island Mayor's After Council Executive Director Angel Sablan announced that the Abandoned Vehicle Program has been short-changed. "Our understanding is the governor borrowed the money from the GEPA recycling fund in the amount of $6 million, it's an IOU and they did promise that they would pay it back but the only money that we have right now is about $100,000 that's left over in our own account," he said.

GEPA officials confirm the monies were re-directed by the Governor's Office instead of being placed into the revolving recycling fund. The Governor's Communications Office could not provide specifics, but say they are looking into the matter. In the meantime, Sablan says they will have to put out another bid for haulers who will help the council conserve the money they still have.

"Instead of a per-hour rate, we want to go by a per-load rate and also the weight and how many vehicles they can pull a day versus one vehicle for an 8 hour day, we want them to pull ten vehicles a day," he stated.

Other suggestions were made such as budgeting the program so that the funds would go strictly towards the removal of abandoned vehicles and white goods. But even these cost saving efforts didn't ease the concerns from mayors like Bob Lizama of Yigo, who said, "What good is working on the contract to be effective October 1 when we don't have money, so we have to tell the people of Guam that we just don't have the money no more, its not doing any justice and any good for us at least for my constituents in Yigo that are waiting."

Sinajana vice mayor Robert Hofmann added, "We are in the dark, we will ask for a legislative oversight or a roundtable with all the stakeholders just to say someone tell us the truth as to how much we have there." Hofmann spearheads the program, and says he will be writing to BBMR and the Legislature in hopes to get some answers and find other possible options to fund the cleanup.

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