by Mindy Aguon
Guam - It could cost tens of millions of dollars more to close the Ordot Dump that what was anticipated or set aside. In fact during a hearing held this past weekend, it was revealed that closure could actually cost in excess of $70 million. The Governor's Office is seeking a stay of the consent decree case until the 9th circuit court rules on appeals related to the land condemnation case.
The parties are at odds over the stay as the governor's legal counsel, Sandra Miller, has argued the stay must be granted to prevent the government from being irreparably injured and incurring even more debt.
Miller has expressed concerns that the Attorney General's Office has not been working in the best interest of the government and has been representing the federal receiver, saying it would only delay the closure of the dump and increase the cost, the federal receiver has opposed the stay.
Black Construction was recently named the lowest bidder for the bulk of the closure project at $41 million. But the receiver anticipated the cost to exceed $49 million, imposing a 20% contingency.
The federal receiver also informed the court that there may not be enough money for some of the other related projects such as upgrades to the dump access road and the Residential Transfer Station, Route 4 safety enhancements and expanding the Inarajan Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The court took the motion under advisement.
Adelup meanwhile reacted saying the additional cost is a serious concern as the only way to pay it down is to charge ratepayers or taxpayers. The Governor's Office says this is why there has been an aggressive push to substitute the Attorney General's Office in the case. Officials say, "They're lawyers and they have apparently not paid any attention to the cost here and you can't just sit back and let the costs go up without ringing the alarm."
In addition to the $70 million in costs, there's another $30 million owed to landowners for the Layon acquisition.