Guam - One year after the case was presented to the judge, a decision and order finally issued in the Layon land condemnation case. And now, the Government of Guam will have to find more than $21.7 million to pay landowners. The government had only set aside $3 million to compensate the Calvo, Ysrael, Arriola, Holmes and Sy families. But the landowners spent months in court arguing that the value of the land was worth more than $100 million.
On Wednesday Presiding Judge Alberto Lamorena found that the $21 million is "just compensation". He also ordered 6% interest be calculated dating back to January 2008, when the land was taken from the landowners.
Government officials have not said how they will be able to pay the judgment as well as whether the debt service for the new landfill will be passed on to customers through increased tipping fees. The federal receiver could not be reached for comment about the decision and order.
Governor's legal counsel Maria Cenzon meanwhile says they just received a copy of the decision and order so they haven't been able to review all of the specifics. "Because it is a $21.7 million judgment, and so in terms of source of funding, there's a possibility of the bond that had been taken out for the solid waste bond might be a possible source of payment," she explained.
Cenzon added that an appeal is always an option, but she will have to discuss that with the Attorney General's Office, who has been spearheading the defense of the case to see if any appealable issues exist.