Governor signs Bill 86 into law - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Governor signs Bill 86 into law

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The Port Authority of Guam takes another step forward in its long journey toward modernization.

Governor Eddie Calvo said, "Special accolades to Senator Tom Ada, the author of the bill who has worked with the port and our administration and author of this bill." At the Port Authority of Guam's F5 Wharf this morning, the governor signed Bill 86 into law.  "What it essentially does is give us the language for sovereign immunity which was requested from the bank," said Port general manager Joanne Brown. The language now paves the way for a $10 million loan with the Bank of Guam. The next step is to get approval from the public utilities commission for a tariff increase.

Brown added, "This is a very critical step leading toward that we're hoping September, October time frame if we get concurrence from the PUC we will be able to move forward close our loan agreement with the Bank of Guam and then bid out this project and then get the contractor working in here." Specifically, the $10 million will be used to shore-up the Port's waterfront properties.

Port board chair Dan Tydingco said, "When the condition of this waterfront was first revealed to us after years of neglect we mobilized to ensure we fixed this very waterfront right behind us in tandem with all the uplands modernization presently taking place."

Specifically the loan will be used to fortify the F5 Wharf which is critical to the overall plan to modernize the Port.  "All the modernization going on the uplands side would be for not if we don't have the structural issues down here repaired adequately and sufficiently because the vessels come and utilize this sliver here to load and unload all their cargo," he said.

Bill 86, now public law, specifically provides the assurance to the Bank of Guam that should the Port default on its loan it can recover its money and not be limited by the Government Claims Act. The new law also provides protections to the Port in that it would prevent the bank from going after its real estate or assets.

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