Ratepayers could see 50% increase in tipping fees - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Ratepayers could see 50% increase in tipping fees

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Ratepayers could see a 50% increase in their tipping fees. It's all the more reason the Governors Office argues GovGuam should have a say in the Ordot consent decree case. During a meeting of the Guam Solid Waste Authority meeting this morning, the news was broken to GovGuam.

"It's already a part of the receivers plan that rates will go by 50% over the current numbers," said Arthur Clark. And again I didn't know this information until I heard it today."  According to Clark, Governor Eddie Calvo's chief policy advisor, the revenue that will generate will only pay 75% of the debt service of the bond GovGuam floated to meet the mandates of the Ordot consent decree. So what about the remaining 25%?

"So again, the hard decision is going to be left with the Government of Guam," he stated, "to decide whether rate increases on top of that will be necessary in order to prevent this subsidy to what was supposed to be an autonomous and self funding operation. And the Governor's Office and the governor is very concerned about this. We've got rates increasing in utilities and its already hurting people in the pocketbooks."

It's a situation the Governors Office finds ironic since it argues its been denied a voice in the Ordot consent decree case. "We feel that the AG's Office is conflicted and were representing the federal receiver in this case. The AG's Office has said as much they've file d a motion that says they believe their role for the last two years has been to act as a representative for the federal receiver, which is GBB, so they agree their conflicted we agree that their conflicted so we've asked the court to allow us to substitute in un-conflicted counsel and the court has thus far refused to  allow us to do it," he said.

Clark finds it further ironic that the federal receiver does want GovGuam to have a voice when it comes to the rate increase? "I heard the receivers recommendation here was to bypass the regulatory process and just simply pass a law to increase the rates. Which I found to be utterly remarkable all because apparently the receiver is unwilling to go and make the hard decision and make the unpopular request to increase the rates so he would rather that unpopular request be left with the Governor's Office and the Legislature and the board members of the Solid Waste Authority who have no authority to act," he said.

The Governors Office has filed a request to put a pause on the Ordot consent decree case and allow for an unconflicted legal counsel to represent GovGuam going forward. The Governors Office has also filed for an expedited briefing on the matter. In the latest papers filed by the feds and the AG's Office they continue to object to GovGuam motions.

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