Guam - The Guam Land Use Commission heard a number of cases during yesterday's board meeting - including a status report on the Ukudu Workforce Village. And while the project is in compliance with land use regulations, the report highlighted the ongoing issues with utilities.

Despite a notice of violation issued earlier this week, the Younex project is making progress, according to a status report before the Guam Land Use Commission during yesterday's board meeting. GLUC chairman Jay Lather told KUAM News today that it sounds like the project is moving along aggressively, saying, "They have this phase construction and they've completed the first phase of modular construction where they actually have the modular units on-site now, and it's just a matter of doing the utility hookups which is their current problem right now."

In a phone interview, Younex engineer Willy Flores said utility work is the only thing holding up completion of Phase I. But if the NOV ordering Younex to cease and desist any water and wastewater work is any indication, it will continue to stall progress until the Guam Waterworks Authority can handle the added capacity. "They do have a serious problem with their utilities and we're watching that carefully and we're very concerned about it but that's not a purview of the Land Use Commission," he explained.

A recent study by the Department of Defense concluded that interim technical solutions could be applied to the Northern Wastewater Plant to increase its capacity - but it would take a year and $8 million to implement.

Despite the glaring setbacks, lather says Younex reps seemed confident. "They did express that they'd like to have their first workers in place in January 2011, which is just three months away or maybe two months now. They're pushing on an aggressive schedule," Lather said.

According to vice-president Dave Tydingco, Younex International wants to open up the facility for the Center for Micronesian Empowerment to house participants during a training in January. But even that can't happen without a permitted utility hookup.

Meanwhile, Younex is making compromises - one that may have implications for the permits it's seeking.  They've agreed to reduce their capacity by 4,000, from 18,000 workers to 14,000.