DPW to launch operation against derelict buildings this week

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The Department of Public Works will officially launch this week its operation against derelict buildings all over the island.

DPW director Vince Arriola told the Islandwide Beautification Task Force on Tuesday that they will start in Tumon where there are several derelict buildings.

According to the Guam Visitors Bureau, these properties in Tumon are now being used by the homeless and have become eyesores in the island’s primary tourist district.

According to GVB, the homeless population is “sequestering themselves” in these abandoned buildings and neglected properties even though the facilities are not being adequately maintained up to existing codes.

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“We are working with GVB on this. We will issue not only notices of violation but also notices to abate and with recommendations to either secure the building, raze the building, or just or clean up the building,” Arriola said.

He added that DPW has been been working hard on this project. DPW was just waiting for final approval of the citations by the department’s legal counsel. But now, Arriola said they are ready to proceed.

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He said part of DPW’s review, assessment, and inspection procedures will also include an assessment procedure where DPW will look at not just the safety of the building but also the structure and surrounding landscape.

“We will also look at whether the surrounding area is overgrown or whether the walls are cracked … things of that nature. We all know what we’re looking for. Derelict buildings could be anywhere from abandoned homes to commercial buildings,” Arriola said.

In addition, DPW is also going after buildings in Tumon that are non-compliant with stormwater runoff.

“We’ve asked GVB to give us the top 15 violators because they seem to have done a review already,” Arriola said.

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