Part of Tiyan apparently already GovGuam land - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Part of Tiyan apparently already GovGuam land

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - It looks like GovGuam's recent purchase of CoreTech in Tiyan includes a portion of land still owned by GovGuam.

Governor Eddie Calvo may have put pen to paper last month signing off on a revised purchase agreement for CoreTech in Tiyan, but it appears part of that land is already GovGuam property.

According to Governor Eddie Calvo's deputy press secretary Phil Leon Guerrero, the issue stems back to 1995 when the Naval Air Station closed and Tiyan land returned to GovGuam.

"Basically the airport moved quickly to do some improvements to lots that the airport and GEDA owned and they created a ponding basin and expanded the parking lot in order for all these facilities to start to be usable. The process moved forward. The airport maintained its property in Tiyan but the GEDA property that it sat next to was returned to original landowners and it was turned around and sold to CoreTech," he said.

The problem?

The airport's ponding basin and parking lot encroached on CoreTech's property.

"During the negotiations the airport came up with the solution that was basically we will allow you to use these buildings that are airport property for 30 years and at the end of the 30-year lease, you will return the buildings back to the airport as improved," he said.

And we know the airport's side of the property today as the Guahan Academy Charter School - property the airport has leased rent-free to CoreTech in exchange for their ponding basin and parking lot, also rent-free - a deal that started back in April 2012.

We should note, this property was included in GovGuam's recent purchase of CoreTech signed December 30, 2013, in addition to buildings currently occupied by Untalan Middle School and a vacant building set to be used for DOE Central Offices.

Included in the revised purchase agreement as reviewed by the Attorney General's Office, Leon Guerrero states CoreTech will surrender its rights and interests for the Tiyan property to GovGuam at the end of the lease between CoreTech and the airport.

According to Senator Michael San Nicolas who has criticized the deal before, this is double dealing as GovGuam will now be paying $23 million to a private corporation for property we already own.

In a statement released today, he says "the governor needs to do the right thing for the people of Guam and that starts with following the law."

Citing Section 8 of Public Law 31-229, San Nicolas says that lawmakers merely authorized the lease, not the purchase of the Tiyan property and that purchase is applicable for collateral equipment only.

In addition, San Nicolas says the same law limits the transaction amount to an aggregate amount of $100 million with GovGuam dealing CoreTech at $160 million, GovGuam is again, breaking the law which could, by U.S. Code, result in fines and even imprisonment for officers who knowingly enter such contracts.

Despite the criticisms, Leon Guerrero says they continue to move ahead with support for the Department of Education and their immediate needs.

"We need to address the overcrowding at George Washington High School. We need to make sure that the charter school community has a place to call home and we need to make sure that the health and safety of the employees at DOE Central are taken care of 0435 and the solution for all of these is the Tiyan campus," he said.

Also in his statement today, Senator San Nicolas proposes GovGuam pursue multi-million dollar developer Al Ysrael's plan to build schools for cheap and under $30 million under private supervision.

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