Governor's buildup point man returns from mainland - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Governor's buildup point man returns from mainland

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - One person who hasn't been present during the recent public meetings on the Draft SEIS is Guam Buildup Office director Mark Calvo, and for very good reason - evidently he's recently returned to Guam after attending meetings regarding more than $100 million in federal funding for the military buildup.

He's Governor Eddie Calvo's point man on the military buildup but he wasn't here for the Joint Guam Program Office's recent public meetings on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on the Marines relocation from Okinawa to Guam.

According to Calvo although he wasn't present it doesn't mean that he wasn't fully engaged with discussions involving the military buildup. Calvo recently returned from a trip to Hawaii and California, from what he says, "To discuss with the federal government DOD and other stakeholders how we go about designing and engineering constructing infrastructure facilities that were appropriated to the tune of $119 million for wastewater and a Center for Disease Control lab."

Calvo says those monies are in the cue and ready to be spent once plans are finalized, saying, "We want to capitalize because thank God for us they were approved in advance of the final study an in advance of the Record of Decision and they are to address ultimately impacts of the buildup, so its money that is good."

Out of the $119 million, $106 million will be used for waste water infrastructure outside the fence. Consolidated Commission on Utilities Simon Sanchez was with Calvo for the meetings in Hawaii. He said, "With regards to the possibility that the revised buildup being proposed that $106 million could be made available to Guam Waterworks Authority."

As for remaining $13 million, it will be used to construct the CDC lab. Calvo says he met with Region IX in California as well as representatives from the US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC and the US Food and Drug Administration. He said, "The discussions included everything from the naming of the lab whether its going to be regional lab which we are hoping to build an get consensus from our Micronesian government around us and then discussions that included operations and maintenance of this very technical manned lab in the years out beyond construction."

Bottomline, although he was not present for the meetings, he assures the community he is committed to ensure the buildup is good for Guam. "It sets up the administration and the people of Guam in reassuring Congress that we take this buildup seriously and concerns for our funding for infrastructure are not just a dream list there are impacts and we want to address impacts very deliberately with the spending of this money," he said.
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