Third party will get involved with solid waste system issue - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Third party will get involved with solid waste system issue

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - There's been a lot of rhetoric between the Government of Guam and the federal receiver over the Guam Solid Waste System. And in order to determine what is the truth along providing a clearer picture of where the authority stands, the board of directors recently passed a resolution seeking a third party involvement.

Interim vice chairman Jonathan Denight says the Guam Solid Waste Authority board of directors, like a lot of the people of Guam, are trying to figure out where it stands when it comes to Guam's solid waste system. Earlier this week, the board passed a resolution intended to do just that. "We passed a resolution to look into seeing if we can get a third party possibly and hopefully the OPA to just take a look at the Guam Solid Waste Authority and how it's performing," he explained.

Denight says this resolution will hopefully help in addressing much of the discussion on the Guam solid waste system including whether it will be affordable for the people of Guam and how there's a lot of projects related to the system that are still left to be completed but without funding. "So there's so much talk being said and there's a lot coming from the GovGuam side and a lot coming from the federal receiver side on what's happening so I think the board along with the people of Guam, we just want to know what is the truth and where are we at," he said.

While the Office of Public Accountability had done a financial audit of the Guam Solid Waste Authority before, a performance audit would be the first. Denight meanwhile says the board has been in existence for two and a half years yet feels they are not really involved in making decisions about Guam's solid waste - instead he says, that's with the federal receiver. The GSWA website states the receivership is responsible for all of the operations of GSWA and implementation of the consent decree entered by the Government of Guam and the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2004.

"But at some point here, the receiver is going to leave Guam and we're all going to stay and live on Guam so we just felt it's important for us to really understand what's been happening the past five or six years under the receiver and where that's left us and what that means for us moving forward because right now, the way it looks, with all the projects pending, if the only way to fund this was through rates, rates would have to go up who knows double, we don't know we're just trying to find out from a financial perspective where we're at and how we got there and what means for us moving forward we see that as our job," he said.

And while it remains to be seen whether the OPA would provide any kind of recommendation, Denight also stresses the need to hire a general manager and controller to take over the responsibility of the receiver. He says in the next week, the board will put together the request to the OPA. He remains unsure however whether the OPA can in fact conduct such an audit on the GSWA. 
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