Telecommunications giant AT&T has settled the debt it owes the Guam Ancestral Land Commission for the use of the Tanguisson Cable station property in Dededo.
While AT&T owes approximately $5.7 million in back rent from 2007 to 2019, the final amount agreed by both parties came to slightly below $5 million.
AT&T’s lease agreement includes approximately 12,000 square meters of land, easements, and the existing cable station infrastructure.
In an interview between K57’s Patti Arroyo and Joe Angoco, the commission’s executive director, Angoco confirmed that they have received the settlement from AT&T but cannot divulge the final agreed amount.
However, a GEDA committee report in October states that the board of commissioners approved the settlement and lease agreements for $4.9 million at its September meeting.
Angoco also says that the commission is looking at extending the lease contract with AT&T but the new agreement has to go through the legislature since an existing law puts a 5-year limit to commercial leases drawn by the government.
“It was a couple of days of intense negotiations but we were able to come to a middle ground. Let’s put it that way. But yes, AT&T is interested in going into another lease with regards to the commercial lease law of Guam. We are limited to five years, maximum five years leasing,” Angoco said.
He added: “And to that respect, anything beyond five years would have to go to the legislature. A request has to be made. It has to become a law. We cannot arbitrarily say, okay, you can rent this place for 50 years.”
The federal government transferred the Tanguisson property to GovGuam in 2002 via a quit claim deed. That same year, GovGuam transferred the property to the land use commission.