GEDA details flooding impact on Tumon businesses - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GEDA details flooding impact on Tumon businesses

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Efforts continue to mitigate the flooding situation in Tumon during heavy rain fall. And while any option involving discharge into Tumon Bay is off the table, the Guam Economic Development Authority is now focusing on land-based options that could impact 200 businesses in the process.

While it's preferred alternative sparked controversy last year, GEDA is now looking at other alternatives to mitigate flooding in Tumon that do not involve any discharge into Tumon Bay. GEDA Real Property Division manager Larry Toves said, "So now we're concentrating on land based options to include either land acquisition or pumping systems to take all that heavy storm water runoff down in San Vitores Road to a suitable location."

But before any final alternative is selected, GEDA is conducting a cost benefit analysis in order to help policy makers decide on what is the best option. That involves looking at the impact to existing businesses and landowners along San Vitores Road. "We hope to get, depending on the participation that we get and responses, we hope to use that information to complete our cost benefit analysis, and again the intent is to present that in our next updated report to the legislature and a recommendation on which alternative is the most economically and best suited to remedy the flood," Toves said.

GEDA is working on the survey with the Guam Visitors Bureau. According to the cost analysis submitted to the Guam Legislature as part of monthly updates, there are 200 businesses along the pipeline corridor. And while expanded detention would have limited impact during construction, stormwater pumping options would have a significant impact on San Vitores Road traffic.

In order to help offset potential losses to businesses during construction, the Government of Guam Mitigation Program for Business Interruption provides a maximum payout of $12,000 to each business - bringing a total of about $2.4 million. Construction duration is estimated between nine months to one year.

"In a way, it's quite challenging because it boils down to funding," Toves noted. "And that's where we're at today."

These costs are added to the estimated $7 million to $27 million price tag for proposed alternatives. The budget meanwhile only sets aside $11.5 million from the HOT bonds for the entire project. Toves adds as land acquisition may be involved, it will also be costly - especially at $300 to $500 per square meter. "So when you figure in order to capture for example, storm water during heavy rainfall, we would require seven acres in addition to what is already down at the Fujita Ponding Basin, so when you figure seven acres at that kind of price, it's going to be quite a substantial amount of money to acquire property," he explained.

In the meantime, GEDA is moving forward with phase two which involves putting in storm water inlets and cleaning out the Fujita Ponding Basin.

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