DRT: fire watch not severe enough to break lease

The exterior of Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation in Barrigada. PNC file photo

Guam – A notice of hazard and fire watch remains in effect at the Department of Revenue and Taxation. While remedying the issue has taken some time, DRT Director Dafne Shimizu says the problem isn’t severe enough to break their lease on the Barrigada property.

It has been about a month since the revenue and taxation building has been placed on notice as a result of an inoperable fire alarm and fire suppression system.

“At this time, there’s nothing official regarding us moving. We have two years left on our current lease but as you do know, and the public knows, we are dealing with several issues with regards to our building. We have been on fire watch for maybe about a month,” Shimizu said.

Shimizu added, “I am happy to say that we have a good relationship with our landlord representatives here on Guam and so we are working to address those.”

While there is no official word whether DRT would be moving out of the Barrigada property, Shimizu said she will keep the public informed should that change.

But at this time with 19 branches and about 180 employees working out of the Barrigada building, a move would take coordination and time, a challenge the department would rather not embark on.

“Our focus is really to work on these with our landlord and like I mentioned I am really grateful that our landlord representative here on Guam has been working with our team,” she said.

Guam Fire Department spokesman Kevin Reilly said, “GFD has to consider all the circumstances, especially in regards to impact on the community, services, and commerce. Although there is no definitive timeline, our inspectors continue to monitor their progress to ensure the most timely repair/replacement of the system.”

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Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.